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Johne´s disease threatens public health
.. and there is a substantial lack of research in this field. `It is alarming that there is so little research on its management`, Scott Wells, DVM, PhD, relayed to an audience of veterinarians during his Saturday seminar “The economics of Johne’s disease” on the North American Veterinary Conference.

Wells, a professor with the University of Minnesota’s veterinary college, says increased exposure to humans could evolve into mandatory control programs for producers. Surprisingly less is known regarding the economics associated with the pathogen’s control.

“This pathogen is much more resilient than E. coli or Salmonella,” Wells says. “If this becomes a public health issue, our world will be quite different. I guess time will tell on that.”

An ideal way to control Johne’s disease is by separating infected maternity herds from those animals free of the disease, but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports just a third of all dairy operations do so.

Vaccination is another option, but Wells notes the inoculation is known to cause side effects. To date, just one study has been published evaluating the vaccine, he says.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the study shows vaccination reduces disease, and it costs about $15 a cow,” he says. “It’s also known to cause side effects. But if this becomes a public health risk, vaccination is the best option.”

Other means for management might soon become clear considering USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has spent roughly $20 million funding government research grants.

“Still, I think we’ve got a long way to go on controlling the disease,” he says. “I think if we had more data on this we’d all feel a little better.”



Source: http://.advanstar.com/6D6569736C6572/dvmnews-1-web.html


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