Neogen Corp. announced the immediate availability of new tests to rapidly and accurately detect Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP). MAP is known to cause Johne’s disease (a.k.a., paratuberculosis) — a contagious, fatal gastrointestinal disease of particular concern in dairy cattle.
Neogen’s new MAP tests are offered through the veterinary diagnostics laboratory of its GeneSeek subsidiary, which is based in Lincoln, Neb. The two new tests, which are both National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) accredited, include:
* A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that detects the presence of MAP bacteria in fecal material. PCR tests are available for individual animals, or a pool of up to five samples in one test. The NVSL accreditation covers both the individual and pooled sample procedures.
* An enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) screening test that detects the presence of MAP antibodies in cow serum, plasma and milk.
“The U.S.-wide National Animal Health Monitoring System Dairy 2007 study showed that well over half of U.S. dairy herds are infected with MAP, but many farmers are unaware, most likely because there are no clinical signs in the early stages of the disease,” said GeneSeek’s Dr. Susanne Hinkley. “Early detection of infected animals can be difficult because the number of MAP bacteria is very low yet, but — even without signs of the disease — infected animals will start shedding MAP with their feces and milk, thereby contaminating the environment and facilitating infection of other animals, particularly calves.
“These tests will enable dairy farmers to quickly and definitively detect MAP on their farms,” Hinkley continued. “MAP infection, especially in the early stages, is a silent but significant thief of production efficiency. Milk production, reproductive efficiency and feed efficiency can be dramatically reduced without noticeable signs of disease.”
Neogen is now offering a turnaround time for its MAP tests of next day, but — if necessary — the laboratory can also accommodate the need for same-day results on an individual basis.