Paratuberculosis control programme


Trouble reading the text? Almost all popular browsers allow you to control how big websites are displayed.

  • Windows
    Mac OS
  • Zoom in
  • Zoom out
  • Zoom 100%
  • Mouse wheel up / down
Paratuberculosis is present in many cattle herds in most countries. It is an inflammatory bowel disease in ruminants, caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map). Typical clinical signs of paratuberculosis, weight loss with profuse diarrhoea, occur in a minority of Map-infected cattle. Subclinical Map infections lead to lower milk yield, increased somatic cell counts and incidence of clinical mastitis, reduced fertility, increased on-farm mortality and cull rates as well as a lower slaughter value. The resulting economic on-farm losses are high. There is uncertainty about the potential involvement of Map in human disease.

Why participate

  • Identify and safeguard your paratuberculosis herd status. 
  • Remove the most important sources of infection.
  • Provide assurance when selling cattle, milk or dairy products. 

What sampling is involved

  • Initial assessment: single herd examination.
  • Assignment of a herd status: - Status A (test negative herds); - Status B (test positive herds from which test positive cattle are removed); - Status C (test positive herd in which test positive cattle are retained).
  • Follow-up herd examinations: biennially (Status A) or annually (Status B and C).
  • All herd examination:
    - testing for antibodies against Map in milk samples (all lactating cattle); or
    - serum samples (all cattle ≥3 years of age);
    - Post movement testing of newly purchased animals. 

How you get advised

  • GD experts interpret the results and determine the status of your herd.
  • If positive, preventative measures are advised to stop the spread of Map and to:
    - prevent re-introduction of Map into the herd;
    - reduce the spread of Map by introducing hygiene measures;
    - prevent infectious contacts between susceptible and infectious cattle. 

Our experts


Thomas Dijkstra, DVM, PhD

Thomas Dijkstra was born on November 28th, 1957 in Enschede, The Netherlands. He studied at the Veterinary Medicine University in Ghent, Belgium and Utrecht, The Netherlands and he graduated in April 1986. He worked in two mixes practices, the ambulatory clinic of the Bovine Herd Health department of the Veterinary Medicine University Utrecht and ‘’Proefstation voor de Rundveehouderij, Schapenhouderij en Paardenhouderij, Lelystad, The Netherlands.’’ In 1988 he moved to GD Animal Health in Deventer, The Netherlands and his fields of interest are: animal welfare, abortion, neosporosis, M.a. paratuberculosis, and salmonellosis. He completed his PhD: “Horizontal and vertical transmission of Neospora caninum” in 2002. He is a specialist of European College of Bovine Health Management since 2004.

Fields of expertise and publications

Maarten F. Weber, DVM, DBR, MSc, PhD, DipECBHM, DipECVPH

Maarten (F.) Weber joined GD Animal Health back in 1998, after having worked a number of years in a mixed but predominantly dairy practice. He was awarded a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction (Liverpool, 2000), an MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (Utrecht, 2004) and a PhD on a thesis 'Surveillance of M. a. paratuberculosis in dairy herds' (Utrecht, 2009). Maarten is a diplomate of the European Colleges of Veterinary Public Health (subspecialty population medicine) and Bovine Health Management. The focus of his work is on the control of bovine infectious diseases, especially paratuberculosis and salmonellosis.

Fields of expertise and publications


Do you have a question or want more information? Contact us by filling in our contactform:

Contact us 


More information

Oude browser

We zien dat u gebruik maakt van een verouderde browser. Niet alle onderdelen van de website zullen daardoor goed functioneren. Download nu de laatste versie van uw browser om veilig te kunnen surfen.

We use cookies for the purposes of analysing our website and improving functionality. For further information, please read our cookie policy.