Association of severity of enteric granulomatous inflammation with disseminated Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection and antemortem test results for paratuberculosis in dairy cows

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681, USA.
Veterinary Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 04/2008; 131(1-2):154-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.02.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Disseminated infection (DI) of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in cattle may impair cow health, potentiate spread of disease, and is a potential food-safety risk. The objectives of this study were to determine the association between severity of histologic enteric lesions and the occurrence of DI, clinical signs, and positive fecal culture and serum ELISA results. Bacteriologic fecal culture and serum ELISA were performed on 40 dairy cows from MAP-infected herds. Cows were classified as having DI if MAP was isolated from any of 11 extra-intestinal tissues collected postmortem. A grade of 0-3, corresponding to the severity of histologically evident granulomatous inflammation was determined for sections of ileum, jejunum, mesenteric lymph node, and ileocolic lymph node. An overall intestinal inflammation (OII) grade of 0-3 was assigned to each cow. The proportion of cows with DI increased with tissue-specific lesion grade and OII grade. All cows with grade 3 inflammation in any single tissue had DI, however, some cows with DI had grade 1 inflammation or no lesions. In general, there was a positive association between OII grade and clinical signs, gross enteric lesions, and positive ELISA and fecal culture results. However, 12% of OII grade 0 cows had clinical signs (explained by other conditions recognized with necropsy), and the proportion of positive ELISA results was lower for OII grade 3 cows relative to grade 2 cows. Although MAP dissemination may occur early in the disease process, histopathology of intestinal tissues may be used to detect a substantial proportion of DI cows.

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