Endemic diseases can be counted among the most serious sources of losses for livestock production. In dairy farms in particular, one of the most common diseases is Johne's disease, caused by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP). Infection with MAP causes direct costs because it affects milk production, but it has also been suspected to increase the risk of clinical mastitis (CM) among infected animals. This might contribute to further costs for farmers. We asked whether MAP infection represents a risk factor for CM and, in particular, whether CM occurrences were more common in MAP-infected animals. Our results, obtained by survival analysis, suggest that MAP-infected cows had an increased probability of experiencing CM during lactation. These results highlight the need to account for the interplay of infectious diseases and other health conditions in economic and epidemiological modeling. In this case, accounting for MAP-infected cows having an increased CM occurrence might have nonnegligible effects on the estimated benefit of MAP control.
- Clinical mastitis
- Dairy farm
- Johne's disease
- Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis