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National Johne’s Education Initiative Winter 2010 Newsletter

January 25, 2010

[Source: Johne’s Disease Newsletter, Winter 2010]

Better to be Proactive Than Sorry

While some seedstock producers argue that testing for Johne’s disease is an outward sign that you are concerned that your herd might be infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. Dave Judd of Judd Ranch, Pomona, Kan., sees things differently. This Kansas purebred breeder argues that testing for Johne’s disease is a proactive step that every seedstock producer should undertake.
Dave says testing for Johne’s disease and knowing no positive have been found lets him sleep better at night. “Although we had not seen any cases of Johne’s disease in the herd, I want to be confi dent that Johne’s disease is not unknowingly present in our herd and might result in infecting the herds of our customers when they purchase a Judd Ranch bull or female,” Dave explains.

Dave, who owns Judd Ranch in partnership with his wife Cindy and sons Nick and Brent, adds that Judd Ranch sells 200-plus Gelbvieh, Red Angus and Balancer bulls every March and 100-plus females every October. With those sales comes responsibilities.
“Your reputation is on the line with every bull or female sold to fellow seedstock producers and commercial cowcalf operators,” Dave elaborates. “It just makes sense to participate in a Johne’s disease prevention, control and testing program.”
Judd Ranch initiated testing for Johne’s disease five years ago. The initial testing was recommended by their herd health consulting team out of Kansas State University, with the testing cost partially funded by USDA/APHIS/VS.
Since then, government assistance for testing has ceased. Now the cost of testing is underwritten in full by Judd Ranch and deemed a smart investment.

Full Story: Johne’s Disease Newsletter, Winter 2010

Vaccine Project Underway

With only one USDA-approved vaccine available to help protect against Johne’s disease, many veterinarians and producers would like more available vaccines—particularly since the current approved vaccine has limitations and is not approved for use in all states. With funding from USDA-APHIS-VS, the Johne’s Disease Integrated Program has undertaken an effort to identify
viable vaccine candidates and evaluate those with the greatest potential for commercial development.
“The project is in the initial stages of a three-step process,” states Tiffany Cunningham with JDIP. “Currently, JDIP is in Phase I of the vaccine-testing program and has added an additional participating institution, AgResearch Limited, to the program.”
As part of Phase I of the program, scientists have submitted strains of live vaccine candidates and recombinant proteins, and a laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University is coordinating the collection and growing the strains that have been received. The strains will then be distributed to candidate vaccine-testing centers at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota for blinded evaluation.

Full Story: Johne’s Disease Newsletter, Winter 2010

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