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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Bases for the control of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis infection in cattle

Paratuberculosis is a common infection in ruminant herds, especially cattle. The disease causes serious economic losses due to culling/death and reduced zootechnical performance of the affected animals.

Prevalence reduction is based on a combination of measures :

  • hygienic (mainly to prevent/reduce contamination of calves)
  • identification/reform (test and cull) of infected animals to reduce prevalence
  • to prevent the introduction of infected animals.

Research Program

In view of the unknowns still relating to certain pathogenic mechanisms of the disease, and given its very long incubation period in addition to the imperfection of the diagnostic tests, modelling opens up interesting perspectives to complement observational epidemiology work in an attempt to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease (in particular the importance of the different routes of transmission) and to evaluate ex ante the effectiveness of different control strategies.

The work carried out over the period 2006-2010 involved:

  • The development of a propagation model of the agent coupled with a dynamic population model at the scale of a dairy cattle herd
  • Identification of critical points regarding the modalities of transmission and the effectiveness of infection control strategies

Complementary work and approaches have also been carried out in the EPID team.

Work in progress and prospects concern

  • Modelling of the inter-herd diffusion of Map, based in particular on the analysis of animal movement networks
    • The evaluation by modelling of the ex ante effectiveness of different control strategies, based in particular on the management of cattle flows according to the status of the herd to which they belong.
    • the cost-benefit assessment of different control strategies, based in particular on the existence of incentives


Scientific partners
Team EPID, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences
Public and professional partners
Veterinary Technical Groups (GTV) and Health Defence Groups (GDS) of Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions


Pauline Ezanno

Work in progress and prospects concern