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A review of paratuberculosis in dairy herds — Part 1: Epidemiology

McAloon, Conor G.; Roche, Steven; Ritter, Caroline; Barkema, Herman W.; Whyte, Paul; More, Simon J.; O’Grady, Luke; Green, Martin J.; Doherty, Michael L.

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Conor G. McAloon

Steven Roche

Caroline Ritter

Herman W. Barkema

Paul Whyte

Simon J. More

Luke O’Grady

Professor of Cattle Health & Epidemiology

Michael L. Doherty


Bovine paratuberculosis is a chronic infectious disease of cattle caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). This is the first in a two-part review of the epidemiology and control of paratuberculosis in dairy herds. Paratuberculosis was originally described in 1895 and is now considered endemic among farmed cattle worldwide. MAP has been isolated from a wide range of non-ruminant wildlife as well as humans and non-human primates. In dairy herds, MAP is assumed to be introduced predominantly through the purchase of infected stock with additional factors modulating the risk of persistence or fade-out once an infected animal is introduced. Faecal shedding may vary widely between individuals and recent modelling work has shed some light on the role of super-shedding animals in the transmission of MAP within herds. Recent experimental work has revisited many of the assumptions around age susceptibility, faecal shedding in calves and calf-to-calf transmission. Further efforts to elucidate the relative contributions of different transmission routes to the dissemination of infection in endemic herds will aid in the prioritisation of efforts for control on farm.


McAloon, C. G., Roche, S., Ritter, C., Barkema, H. W., Whyte, P., More, S. J., …Doherty, M. L. (2019). A review of paratuberculosis in dairy herds — Part 1: Epidemiology. Veterinary Journal, 246, 59-65.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 30, 2019
Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2019
Journal The Veterinary Journal
Print ISSN 1090-0233
Electronic ISSN 1532-2971
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 246
Pages 59-65
Keywords Dairy; Epidemiology; Johne’s disease; Paratuberculosis
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: A review of paratuberculosis in dairy herds — Part 1: Epidemiology; Journal Title: The Veterinary Journal; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.