Impact of Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis Infection on Serologic Surveillance for Johne's Disease in Goats

Elizabeth J.B. Manning, Heather F. Cushing, Sharon Hietala, Cynthia B. Wolf

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11 Scopus citations


False-positive results on serologic assays for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) are believed to occur due to cross-reacting antibody produced by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (C. pstb) infection in goats. This issue of compromised specificity was evaluated by testing 771 adult goats from 10 Midwestern goat herds in 2004. Assays for MAP infection included radiometric fecal culture and 2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs); ELISA-positive samples were tested by agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID). A synergistic hemolysin inhibition assay (SHI) was used to detect C. pstb antibody. Four infection status categories were evaluated. Category 1 goats (free of both MAP and C. pstb infection) tested negative on all MAP fecal cultures and SHI tests. Five of 181 goats were positive in both ELISAs, and 2 more were positive in ELISA-1 only. For Category 2 (MAP infected; no C. pstb infection), all animals were SHI negative. Six goats were fecal culture positive and strongly positive in both ELISAs; 2 more goats were positive only in ELISA-1. For Category 3 (C. pstb infected or vaccinated; no history of MAP infection), all fecal cultures were negative and 91% were SHI test-positive. In this population, only 2 goats were positive in both MAP ELISAs, while 84 additional goats were test-positive only on ELISA-1. In the absence of C. pstb infection, both ELISAs performed comparably, but when C. pstb infection was present the performance of ELISA-1 was significantly perturbed. Use of the ELISA-2 for goats is an effective and efficient method for Johne's disease surveillance in any goat herd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Caprine
  • Johne's disease
  • caseous lymphadenitis
  • false positive
  • goat


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