Mastitis risk effect on the economic consequences of paratuberculosis control in dairy cattle: A stochastic modeling study

Leslie J. Verteramo Chiu, Loren W. Tauer, Yrjo T. Gröhn, Rebecca L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The benefits and efficacy of control programs for herds infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) have been investigated under various contexts. However, most previous research investigated paratuberculosis control programs in isolation, without modeling the potential association with other dairy diseases. This paper evaluated the benefits of MAP control programs when the herd is also affected by mastitis, a common disease causing the largest losses in dairy production. The effect of typically suggested MAP controls were estimated under the assumption that MAP infection increased the rate of clinical mastitis. We evaluated one hundred twenty three control strategies comprising various combinations of testing, culling, and hygiene, and found that the association of paratuberculosis with mastitis alters the ranking of specific MAP control programs, but only slightly alters the cost-benefit difference of particular MAP control components, as measured by the distribution of net present value of a representative U.S. dairy operation. In particular, although testing and culling for MAP resulted in a reduction in MAP incidence, that control led to lower net present value (NPV) per cow. When testing was used, ELISA was more economically beneficial than alternative testing regimes, especially if mastitis was explicitly modeled as more likely in MAP-infected animals, but ELISA testing was only significantly associated with higher NPV if mastitis was not included in the model at all. Additional hygiene was associated with a lower NPV per cow, although it lowered MAP prevalence. Overall, the addition of an increased risk of mastitis in MAP-infected animals did not change model recommendations as much as failing to consider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0217888
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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