The effect of subclinical Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection on milk production in Michigan dairy cows

Y. J. Johnson, J. B. Kaneene, J. C. Gardiner, J. W. Lloyd, D. J. Sprecher, P. H. Coe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of subclinical Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection on mature equivalent milk, protein, and fat production in a sample of Michigan dairy herds with a history of cows positive for M. paratuberculosis diagnosed by fecal culture. A prospective two-group cohort study was conducted. Participating herds were tested, and productivity and reproduction records were monitored for 18 mo. All cows aged 24 mo and greater were tested for M. paratuberculosis infection using the ELISA and radiometric fecal culture (RFC) techniques. Using both tests in parallel, the overall sample apparent prevalence for M. paratuberculosis infection was 41.8%. Adjusting for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity resulted in a calculated sample true prevalence of 59.9%. Subclinical paratuberculosis test-positive status had no statistically significant effect on mature equivalent milk, fat, or protein production. The results of this study concur with the findings of other studies, reporting that the magnitude and direction of the association between subclinical paratuberculosis infection and milk production depends upon the parity of the animal, stage of disease, and the stage in lactation being monitored. Assessment of the impact of subclinical paratuberculosis on milk production must consider the average parity of the sample population. In herds that have an average parity of 2 or less, subclinical paratuberculosis infection may have little impact on milk production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2188-2194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Dairy cattle
  • Johne's disease
  • Milk production
  • Mycobacterium paratuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of subclinical Mycobacterium paratuberculosis infection on milk production in Michigan dairy cows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this