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Welcome to Johne’s Information Central —
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Johne’s (pronounced “Yo-nees”) disease is a chronic, contagious bacterial disease that affects the small intestine of ruminants such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, antelope and bison. All ruminants are susceptible to Johne’s disease.
Johne’s disease is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, a hardy bacterium that embeds itself in the wall of the lower part of the small intestine known as the ileum. As an immune response, infected tissues attempt to regenerate healthy tissue which leads to visible thickening of the intestines. This prevents nutrient absorption, resulting in weight loss. Late in the infection, antibody production by the animal can be found in serum of animals and is an indicator that clinical signs of disease and death from the infection will soon follow.
The occurrence of Johne’s disease was first described in 1908 by Leonard Pearson in a paper, “A note on the occurrence in America of chronic bacterial dysentery of cattle,” (Am. Vet. Rev. 32:602-605, 1908). Pearson published this report while serving as Dean of the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania, 1897-1909.
Johne’s disease is present among U.S. dairy and beef herds:
To reduce the prevalence of Johne’s disease in U.S. cattle, USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) spearheads a national, coordinated Johne’s disease effort developed in conjunction with the States and cattle industries. The plan includes a national educational campaign, the Voluntary Bovine Johne’s Disease Control Program and guidelines for States to assist infected herds.
The National Institute for Animal Agriculture has partnered with USDA-APHIS-VS to help educate dairy and beef producers and those who work with these individuals about Johne’s.
Additional information about Johne’s can be found by clicking on other tabs at this website.