There are inconsistent results for the association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) infection with production and reproduction in dairy cows. Determination of these associations in each region is essential to encourage participation of dairy cattle producers in disease control programs. This study was conducted in Shiraz, southern Iran, to quantify the association of subclinical MAP infection with 305-day milk production and calving interval in Iranian Holsteins. A total of 21 dairy herds were selected for the study and in each herd, quarter milk samples were collected from ten to 12 dairy cows for PCR analysis. Data about parity, calving interval, length of lactation period, total milk production and 305-day milk production were also provided for each animal. Overall, 252 individual milk samples were collected. Herd- and individual-level prevalence of MAP infection were 23.8% (95% CI, 6.2–41.4%) and 3.2% (95% CI, 1.3–5.1%), respectively based on IS900 nested PCR. The results for 305-day milk production revealed a 248 kg reduction in positive cows compared with negative ones (P = 0.009). When cows from positive herds were compared with cows from negative herds, a 335-kg reduction in 305-day milk production (P = 0.005) and a 30-day increase in calving interval (P = 0.057) were observed in the former group. These findings support the previous results that paratuberculosis infection is negatively associated with the performance of the animals.
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The authors would like to thank Prof. Leonardo Sechi, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Italy, for providing the MAP for positive control in PCR, to Mrs. Masoudian for technical assistance and herd owners for their help and cooperation in collecting milk samples. This study was supported by Shiraz University, Fars, Iran.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Ansari-Lari, M., Haghkhah, M. & Mahmoodi, F. Association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection with milk production and calving interval in Iranian Holsteins. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 1111–1116 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-011-0047-3
- Calving interval
- Milk production
- Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis