In this study, 5 combinations of 2 DNA extractions and 3 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques were compared with culture for the detection of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis directly from bovine feces. These combinations included a new commercial extraction technique combined with a commercial PCR/Southern blot technique, nested PCR (nPCR), or real-time PCR, and a university-developed extraction combined with nPCR or real-time PCR. Four of the 5 combinations had statistically similar sensitivities between 93% and 100% and specificity between 95% and 100%, when compared with culture results from 63 bovine fecal samples. These results indicated that using a commercial extraction with a commercial PCR/Southern blot, nPCR, or real-time PCR, or a university-developed extraction with real-time PCR would result in similar sensitivities to culture for the identification of M. paratuberculosis from bovine feces and are valid alternatives to culture.
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