In Norway, caprine paratuberculosis is endemic in several regions in Norway and 5-10 % of the goat herds have official restrictions because of paratuberculosis. Thus, the disease can have a substantial negative impact on the economy of goat farming.
In t he endemic regions, paratuberculosis has traditionally been controlled by vaccination of goat kids.
The project «Friskere geiter» aims to eliminate M. a. paratuberculosis from goat herds by «snapping» of newborn kids and combined with the cleaning and di sinfection of pens and outdoor areas and exclusion of the goat kids from contaminated pastures. There exists little previous experience of the effect of «snapping» combined with sanitation as a method to eliminate M. a. paratuberculosis from goat herds.
T he present study aims to evaluate the different methods used in Norway to control paratuberculosis in infected goat herds. The project will monitor herds that perform «snapping» combined with sanitation for paratuberculosis for many years, in order to eva luate if this method is a way to eliminate the infection in the herds. The goat kids and later adult animals will be examined for paratuberculosis by examination for an immune response to M. a. paratuberculosis (IFN-gamma assay) and by culturing of faeces . Examination of the indoor environment and frequently used outdoor areas and pastures of infected herds and examination of faeces from wild ruminant sharing pastures with infected herds will be performed in attempt to identify reservoirs of M. a. paratub erculosis.
Preliminary data suggests that sheep may be a source of re-infection after «snapping». To obtain a mean to identify sub-clinically infected sheep, the IFN-gamma test will be evaluated in this species.