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Risk mapping for Johne’s disease in beef cattle

Stephanie S. Hampe, 2VM; Lisa Benjamin, DVM; Geoffrey Fosgate, DVM, PhD
Department of Epidemiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USAStephanie Hampe Abstract

Objective—To create maps of known risk factors for Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in cattle.

Design—Random field sampling of soil and feces using GPS and GIS technology. Evaluation of samples using field meters and outsourced diagnostic testing.

Procedure—Pastures were mapped, and random points within those pastures were selected for sampling. Soil from these sample points was pH tested and the electrical conductivity was measured. A subset of the points was also selected for soil and fecal collection. Collected samples were stored on ice and sent to laboratories for composition analysis, PCR and culture.

Results—Maps of soil pH and electrical conductivity of two pastures were created. Lab results on PCR, soil analysis and culture, and fecal culture are still pending.

Conclusions and Relevance—Preliminary results suggest that risk maps can be created using interpolation of randomly collected data. These maps may be able to indicate relative risk in different pasture areas of ranches for producers. If MAP is linked to Crohn’s disease in human patients, improved identification and control measures will be required for eradication.