Surveillance of Johne’s Disease in Small Ruminants in Northern New York

Project Overview

ONE20-363
Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2020: $26,950.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Betsy Hodge
Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
Co-Leaders:
Jessica Scillieri Smith,
NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets/Division of Animal Industry

Commodities

  • Animals: goats

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, preventive practices

    Proposal abstract:

    Johne’s Disease (JD) is a common disease in the dairy industry caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, causing diarrhea, weight loss and subcutaneous edema in cows, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis based on clinical signs.  Clinical signs in small ruminants are more nonspecific and frequently the only sign is weight loss (Pugh, 2002), which can be difficult to differentiate from other common ailments such as parasite infections.  While studies from other countries indicate that JD is a widespread problem with a significant economic impact, there is no prevalence data for small ruminants in the US (Collins, 2011).  This project seeks to conduct JD surveillance and determine prevalence in goat herds in Northern New York.  The project will use blood ELISA testing, fecal culture and PCR test results as data points and utilize the New York State Sheep and Goat Health Assurance Program (NYSSGHAP) to aid with on farm data collection and one on one farmer outreach and education.  This project allows us to better characterize prevalence of disease in the region using Bayesian Statistical Modeling.  Outreach for this project will include presentations across the state by NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets field veterinarians at continuing education events along with discussion at other NYSSGHAP meetings with individual producers.  Cornell Cooperative Extension livestock educators will be able to present the results at sheep and goat meetings directed at producers, one of which will be recorded and posted online for wider distribution.

     

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to conduct Johne’s disease surveillance and determine prevalence in goat herds in Northern New York.  This project would allow further study of JD present in the area, allowing farmers to have a better understanding of the disease in goat herds. The project will use blood ELISA testing, fecal culture and PCR test results as data to extrapolate from.  Based on phase one of the project focusing on JD in sheep, we have shown that JD is widespread in the region.  This will allow us to better characterize prevalence of disease in the region using Bayesian Statistical Modeling.  This statistical method allows us to factor in the three different tests and their respective specificities and sensitivities to determine a more accurate prevalence for the region. The benefit to farmers will be to heighten awareness of the presence of infection in the region, and to gain assistance with management and biosecurity relating to JD. As for farmers not in the locale, this project will not only further characterize the prevalence of JD in the Northeast; but in the US since no other studies have been done pertaining to prevalence of JD in small ruminants here.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.