Johne's disease is a gastrointestinal disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. Most infections happen in animals under 6 months of age although all ages are susceptible. Because the bacteria is slow growing symptoms might not show for many years after infection. Infections are mainly thru the ingestion of bacteria thru the oral route. Often animals will not show any outward symptoms yet they can be shedding many bacteria into the environment. Even though animals might not be showing clinical signs they often have lower production, increased culling, increased incidence of mastitis and decreased fertility.
Lab testing for Johne's disease involves fecal cultures, PCR testing of fecal samples and checking milk or blood for antibodies to the bacteria. Currently WVS is certified to run the blood serum ELISA test.
Lab testing day is every Wednesday with results reported the same day by e-mail, fax or phone call. The cost to run samples are $5.00 per sample.