Submitted to: American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2004
Publication Date: June 9, 2004
Citation: Stabel, J.R. 2004. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis: A Stealthy Killer [abstract]. American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.p. 224. Technical Abstract: Johne's disease is a chronic, debilitating intestinal disorder in cattle characterized by diarrhea, reduced feed intake, weight loss and death. Cattle usually become infected as young calves by ingesting feces containing the causative bacteria. However, symptoms of disease do not usually present themselves until the animals reach 3 to 5 years of age or even older. During this time the animal is infected and my be shedding the organism in its feces without showing any clinical signs of disease. In addition to reduced milk production by these animals, they also present a potential infective threat to the rest of the herd. Johne's disease is difficult to diagnose and therefore to control. Development of accurate and sensitive diagnostic tests is dependent upon understanding the immune response of the host animal during infection. This paper reviews the current information on host immunity to M. partuberculosis in domestic animals. Further work on host immunity will lead to better understanding of the pathogenesis of disease and aid in new preventative and therapeutic regimes.