What is Johne's Disease

Johne’s (yo-knees) disease is a contagious, chronic and eventually fatal infection that affects the small intestine of ruminants, including cattle, sheep and goats. Johne’s, also called Paratuberculosis, is a slow progressive wasting disease with an incubation period of usually 2 or more years.

Johne’s is a reportable, NOT quarantineable disease

Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the bacterium that causes Johne’s. MAP is of the same genus as tuberculosis and leprosy, can survive in soil or water for more than a year and is resistant to disinfectants and the environment because of its waxy cell wall.

Clinical signs of Johne’s disease vary with the stage of infection and stress, among other factors. These signs include diarrhea, weight loss despite a normal appetite, no fever, drop in milk production, lower calf weaning weights, increased cull weights, may affect conception rates and decrease immunity to other diseases.

cow and calf

For information contact:
Dr. Gary Eiben 515-669-6095, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Bureau of Animal Industry, Wallace Building, 2nd Floor, 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319, or email: gary.eiben@iowaAgriculture.gov