Special Issue "Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis: Update on Prevention and Control Strategies"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 6334
Infection with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a common problem in the dairy industry worldwide, mainly in cattle and goats. The infection occurs in many countries and spreads due to its long incubation time and chronic nature almost unnoticed. Trading infected animals in the subclinical stage of disease is most relevant for spreading the infectious agent between herds and countries. Delayed humoral responses and delayed onset of fecal shedding hamper the early identification of infected animals and are often misused to discredit approaches to control this disease. Control strategies consist generally of test-and-cull strategies and the improvement of herd management practices based on farm-level risk assessment, but the chosen focus differs between countries and regions depending on local MAP-prevalence, economic impact, risk awareness of farmers, veterinarians and animal health authorities, as well as experiences and preferences. To date, a well-accepted certification system that limits the risk of within- and between-herd transmission is missing.
Some countries started with MAP control programs early in the twentieth century; however, MAP eradication can hardly ever be achieved, especially not for the majority of farms in that country. A strong limitation of the success of most MAP control programs is the voluntary participation. A link between MAP and human Crohn’s disease is discussed. Experiences with different control strategies and computer modelling technique’s modified goals of MAP control from ambiguous eradication strategies to stepwise prevalence reduction in affected herds, limiting the entry of MAP into the food chain and controlling between-herd transmission. The slow and chronic manifestation of MAP within a herd also results in the slow progress of control management making a long-term commitment of farmers a precondition for success. This implies that diagnostic measures should be taken, that can be easily integrated into the management routine of farms. Therefore, low labor and inexpensive specific diagnostic methods should be followed by methods with higher sensitivity when the eradication of MAP from a herd is desired.
Although in the last decade, several new interesting approaches have been implemented by animal health authorities, as well as by the dairy industry and experiences, have been gained, regional differences in prevalence, farming systems and economic structures of the dairy industry create the need for tailored control approaches. Furthermore, different mindsets and attitudes of farmers regarding paratuberculosis control require different communication strategies. Therefore, research in different fields targeting MAP diagnostic, strategic and economic objectives, as well as communication, is needed in the view of improving animal health and consumer safety.
Dr. Susanne Eisenberg
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