Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 1197–1202 | Cite as

Prevalence and spectrum of Johne’s disease lesions in cattle slaughtered at two abattoirs in Kampala, Uganda

  • Julius Boniface Okuni
  • Manfred Reinacher
  • Panayiotis Loukopoulos
  • Lonzy Ojok
Regular Articles


This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and characteristics of Johne’s disease (JD) lesions in Ugandan cattle slaughtered at two of the main abattoirs in Kampala. Ileocaecal junction and the associated lymph nodes of 1,022 cattle were examined for gross and microscopic lesions, followed by Ziehl Neelsen staining of the tissues bearing lesions. Confirmation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection was done in some of the tissues using culture and IS900 PCR. The lesions were then described, characterised and tabulated. Characteristic Johne’s disease granulomas were found in 4.7% of the samples examined, derived from Zebu, Ankole longhorn, Friesian breeds of cattle and their crosses. Lesions were found both in the lymph nodes and ileocaecal junction mucosa. The lesions tended to be more severe in the lymph node than in the mucosa. There were also some unique and atypical lesions found in association with Johne’s disease granulomas. The diagnostic values of various gross lesions and criteria of lesion classifications and diagnosis are revisited and discussed based on the findings of this study. The prevalence of Johne’s disease lesions among slaughtered cattle in Kampala’s two abattoirs indicates that the disease is well established in the cattle population in the country. The diverse manifestations in lesions of JD need to be considered when making histological diagnosis in tissues where the disease is suspected.


Johne’s disease Paratuberculosis Pathology Cattle Uganda 



Financial support for this study was obtained from Carnegie Corporations New York under the Food, Nutrition and Value Addition Program under the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University. We acknowledge technical assistance from Mr. Kisseka Magid, Mr. Watoya Charles in preparation of histological sections and Mr. Batalire SMTK for assistance during sample collection.

Ethical considerations

This study was conducted with the approval of the Uganda National Council for science and technology (UNCST) under reference number HS 311.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest from any party with regards to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julius Boniface Okuni
    • 1
  • Manfred Reinacher
    • 2
  • Panayiotis Loukopoulos
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lonzy Ojok
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and BiosecurityMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Institute for Veterinary PathologyJustus-Liebig-Universitaet GiessenGiessenGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab, School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of California DavisSan BernardinoUSA

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