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Pieper L.,University of Guelph | Sorge U.S.,University of Minnesota | DeVries T.J.,University of Guelph | Godkin A.,Veterinary Science and Policy Group | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

Johne's disease (JD) is a production-limiting gastrointestinal disease in cattle. To minimize the effects of JD, the Ontario dairy industry launched the Ontario Johne's Education and Management Assistance Program in 2010. As part of the program, trained veterinarians conducted a risk assessment and management plan (RAMP), an on-farm questionnaire where high RAMP scores are associated with high risk of JD transmission. Subsequently, veterinarians recommended farm-specific management practices for JD prevention. Milk or serum ELISA results from the milking herd were used to determine the herd ELISA status (HES) and within-herd prevalence. After 3.5 yr of implementation of the program, the aim of this study was to evaluate the associations among RAMP scores, HES, and recommendations. Data from 2,103 herds were available for the analyses. A zero-inflated negative binomial model for the prediction of the number of ELISA-positive animals per farm was built. The model included individual RAMP questions about purchasing animals in the logistic portion, indicating risks for between-herd transmission, and purchasing bulls, birth of calves outside the designated calving area, colostrum and milk feeding management, and adult cow environmental hygiene in the negative binomial portion, indicating risk factors for within-herd transmission. However, farms which fed low-risk milk compared with milk replacer had fewer seropositive animals. The model additionally included the JD herd history in the negative binomial and the logistic portion, indicating that herds with a JD herd history were more likely to have at least 1 positive animal and to have a higher number of positive animals. Generally, a positive association was noted between RAMP scores and the odds of receiving a recommendation for the respective risk area; however, the relationship was not always linear. For general JD risk and calving area risk, seropositive herds had higher odds of receiving recommendations compared with seronegative herds if the section scores were low. This study suggests that the RAMP is a valuable tool to assess the risk for JD transmission within and between herds and to determine farm-specific recommendations for JD prevention. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.


Pieper L.,University of Guelph | Sorge U.,University of Minnesota | Godkin A.,Veterinary Science and Policy Group | DeVries T.,University of Guelph | And 2 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2014

Johne's disease (JD) is a chronic, production-limiting disease of ruminants. Control programs aiming to minimize the effects of the disease on the dairy industry have been launched in many countries, including Canada. Those programs commonly focus on strict hygiene and management improvement, often combined with various testing methods. Concurrently, organic dairy farming has been increasing in popularity. Because organic farming promotes traditional management practices, it has been proposed that organic dairy production regulations might interfere with implementation of JD control strategies. However, it is currently unclear how organic farming would change the risk for JD control. This review presents a brief introduction to organic dairy farming in Canada, JD, and the Canadian JD control programs. Subsequently, organic practices are described and hypotheses of their effects on JD transmission are developed. Empirical research is needed, not only to provide scientific evidence for organic producers, but also for smaller conventional farms employing organic-like management practices. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Pieper L.,University of Guelph | Godkin A.,Veterinary Science and Policy Group | Roesler U.,Free University of Berlin | Polleichtner A.,Free University of Berlin | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2012

Prototheca spp. are algae that cause incurable acute or chronic mastitis in dairy cows. The aim of this case-control study was the identification of cow- and herd-level risk factors for this unusual mastitis pathogen. Aseptically collected composite milk samples from 2,428 milking cows in 23 case and 23 control herds were collected between January and May 2011. A questionnaire was administered to the producers, and cow-level production and demographic data were gathered. In 58 of 64 isolates, Prototheca spp. and Prototheca zopfii genotypes were differentiated using PCR and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. All isolates were identified as Prototheca zopfii genotype 2. The mean within-herd prevalence for Prototheca spp. was 5.1% (range 0.0-12.5%). Case herds had a significantly lower herd-level prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus and a higher prevalence of yeasts than did control herds. The final logistic regression model for herd-level risk factors included use of intramammary injections of a non-intramammary drug [odds ratio (OR) = 136.8], the number of different injectable antibiotic products being used (OR = 2.82), the use of any dry cow teat sealant (external OR = 80.0; internal OR = 34.2), and having treated 3 or more displaced abomasums in the last 12 mo OR = 44.7). The final logistic regression model for cow-level risk factors included second or greater lactation (OR = 4.40) and the logarithm of the lactation-average somatic cell count (OR = 2.99). Unsanitary or repeated intramammary infusions, antibiotic treatment, and off-label use of injectable drugs in the udder might promote Prototheca udder infection. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association.


Pieper L.,University of Guelph | Sorge U.S.,University of Minnesota | DeVries T.,University of Guelph | Godkin A.,Veterinary Science and Policy Group | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Johne's disease (JD) is a chronic, infectious disease in cattle. Between 2010 and 2013, a voluntary JD control program was successfully launched in Ontario, Canada, including a Risk Assessment and Management Plan (RAMP) and JD ELISA testing of the entire milking herd. Over the last decade, the organic dairy sector has been growing. However, organic farming regulations and philosophies may influence the risk for JD transmission on Ontario organic dairy farms. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate differences in JD ELISA test positive prevalence, risk factors for JD and recommendations for JD prevention between organic and conventional dairy herds in Ontario. RAMP results (i.e. RAMP scores and recommendations) and ELISA results were available for 2103 dairy herds, including 42 organic herds. If available, additional data on milk production, milk quality, and herd characteristics were gathered. Organic and conventional herds had a similar herd-level JD ELISA test-positive prevalence (26.2% and 27.2%, respectively). Organic herds (4.2%) had a higher within-herd JD ELISA test-positive prevalence compared to conventional herds (2.3%) if they had at least one JD test-positive animal on the farm. Organic farms had lower risk scores for biosecurity (9 points lower), and higher scores in the calving (7 points higher) and the calf-rearing management areas (4 points higher). After accounting for RAMP score, organic farms received fewer recommendations for the calving management area (Odds Ratio = 0.41) and more recommendations in the adult cow management area (Odds Ratio = 2.70). A zero-inflated negative binomial model was built with purchase of animals and the herd size included in the logistic portion of the model. Herd type (organic or conventional), colostrum and milk feeding practices, average bulk tank somatic cell count, and presence of non-Holstein breeds were included in the negative binomial portion of the model. Organic farms had a higher number of test positive animals (Count Ratio = 2.02). Further research is necessary to investigate the apparent disconnect between risk factors and recommendations on organic dairy farms. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Pieper L.,University of Guelph | DeVries T.J.,University of Guelph | Sorge U.S.,University of Minnesota | Godkin A.,Veterinary Science and Policy Group | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

As a proactive measure toward controlling the nontreatable and contagious Johne's disease in cattle, the Ontario dairy industry launched the voluntary Ontario Johne's Education and Management Assistance Program in 2010. The objective of this study was to describe the results of the first 4 yr of the program and to investigate the variability in Risk Assessment and Management Plan (RAMP) scores associated with the county, veterinary clinic, and veterinarian. Of 4,158 Ontario dairy farms, 2,153 (51.8%) participated in the program between January 2010 and August 2013. For this study, RAMP scores and whole-herd milk or serum ELISA results were available from 2,103 farms. Herd-level ELISA-positive prevalence (herds with one or more test-positive cows were considered positive) was 27.2%. Linear mixed model analysis revealed that the greatest RAMP score variability was at the veterinarian level (24.2%), with relatively little variability at the county and veterinary clinic levels. Consequently, the annual RAMP should be done by the same veterinarian to avoid misleading or discouraging results. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.

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