Paratuberculosis in Swiss dairy herds


Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office


Epidemiological and statistical support

Project status

Project background

Paratuberculosis, also known as Johne's disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the small intestine of dairy cows. The bacteria responsible for the disease, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, can cause weight loss, diarrhea, and decreased milk production in infected cows. The disease is difficult to detect in its early stages and can spread rapidly through contaminated feces and milk. A few dozen cases are registered annually in Switzerland, but the current prevalence and major risk factors for Swiss dairy herds remain unknown.

This project aims to perform a representative serological study to assess prevalence of antibodies against paratuberculosis in Swiss dairy cows. In addition, risk factors for the introduction of paratuberculosis into herds and spread within herds are assessed trough a questionnaire.

Our work

This project is implemented under the lead of the Clinic for Ruminants of the Vetsuisse-Faculty of the University of Bern. SAFOSO provides the epidemiological and statistical expertise for the calculation of the sample size, assessment of the prevalence and analysis of risk factors for a positive herd status.

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