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Cross Species Transmission of OJD - Phase 1

Prior to this study there was little or no information about the behaviour of the disease OJD in goats, its detection, its mode of spread or the risk it posed to uninfected goats and sheep. By summarising the available information about ovine Johne's disease in goats, and conducting surveys on several farms, a picture of the disease in fibre goats was developed. Infected goats most often were detected using laboratory tests and not because they had obvious disease and it appeared that the tendency to develop severe disease was less in goats than sheep. In addition, the proportion of goats infected was less than the proportion of sheep infected on two farms where the disease was established.

The reasons for the different disease pattern in sheep and goats are uncertain but may include lower doses of the organisms being acquired from the environment by goats due to their browsing behaviour, a relative resistance to infection on the part of goats or a degree of adaptation of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis S strain to sheep rather than goats. The circumstances that resulted in ovine Johne's disease spreading from sheep to goats on two farms appeared to include high stocking rates and prolonged or continuous direct and indirect contact between sheep and goats. Industry can benefit from this information immediately as it provides an objective view of ovine Johne's disease in goats. As Johne's disease may not be obvious in fibre goats, producers need to undertake laboratory testing to ensure that the disease is not present in their herds. Control programs for ovine Johne's disease in sheep can justifiably continue to consider goats - infected goats shed the organism and can transmit the infection to other goats and sheep. A communication program is needed to disseminate this information to producers.

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179.1KB 01/06/2005

This page was last updated on 12/11/2014

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