Benefits of Johne's disease effluent testing
Johne's disease is common on New Zealand dairy farms. It costs the industry between $40 million to $90 million every year in lost milk production and poor calving rates.
Animal Health developed the Johne's disease effluent test for use as a tool to identify if the bacteria responsible for Johne’s disease is present in a farm effluent system. This test gives an indication if Johne’s bacteria is present on farm.
About Johne's disease
Johne's disease is a chronic gut infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP). Animals are infected in the first few months of life.
Johne's disease may lead to:
- lower milk production
- difficulty reproducing
- rapid weight loss
Infected animals can stay healthy for several years and many never show clinical symptoms of the disease, such as rapid weight loss and diarrhoea. Animals with clinical Johne's disease eventually die.
Infected animals that do not have clinical symptoms can produce less milk and have problems with reproduction. They can also spread the infection.
Some animals become what are known as super-shedders. The super-shedders pose the biggest risk to your herd because they show no clinical signs of the disease yet excrete large amounts of MAP in their faeces, making them extremely infectious. Super-shedders are likely to go on to develop clinical symptoms.