Herd-level prevalence of Map infection in dairy herds of southern Chile determined by culture of environmental fecal samples and bulk-tank milk qPCR

J. Kruze, G. Monti*, F. Schulze, A. Mella, S. Leiva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Paratuberculosis, an infectious disease of domestic and wild ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map), is an economically important disease in dairy herds worldwide. In Chile the disease has been reported in domestic and wildlife animals. However, accurate and updated estimations of the herd-prevalence in cattle at national or regional level are not available. The objectives of this study were to determine the herd-level prevalence of dairy herds with Map infected animals of Southern Chile, based on two diagnostic tests: culture of environmental fecal samples and bulk-tank milk qPCR. Two composite environmental fecal samples and one bulk-tank milk sample were collected during September 2010 and September 2011 from 150 dairy farms in Southern Chile. Isolation of Map from environmental fecal samples was done by culture of decontaminated samples on a commercial Herrold's Egg Yolk Medium (HEYM) with and without mycobactin J. Suspicious colonies were confirmed to be Map by conventional IS900 PCR. Map detection in bulk-tank milk samples was done by real time IS900 PCR assay. PCR-confirmed Map was isolated from 58 (19.3%) of 300 environmental fecal samples. Holding pens and manure storage lagoons were the two more frequent sites found positive for Map, representing 35% and 33% of total positive samples, respectively. However, parlor exits and cow alleyways were the two sites with the highest proportion of positive samples (40% and 32%, respectively). Herd prevalence based on environmental fecal culture was 27% (true prevalence 44%) compared to 49% (true prevalence 87%) based on bulk-tank milk real time IS900 PC. In both cases herd prevalence was higher in large herds (>200 cows). These results confirm that Map infection is wide spread in dairy herds in Southern Chile with a rough herd-level prevalence of 28-100% depending on the herd size, and that IS900 PCR on bulk-tank milk samples is more sensitive than environmental fecal culture to detect Map-infected dairy herds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bulk-tank milk
  • Culture
  • Environmental fecal samples
  • Herd prevalence
  • Paratuberculosis


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