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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Agriculture | Animal Sciences | Beef Science | Biology | Biosecurity | Biotechnology | Dairy Science | Food Microbiology | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Meat Science | Medicine and Health Sciences | Microbiology | Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health

Publication Details

Frontiers in veterinary Science: Veterinary Infectious Diseases

Received: 07 July 2017; Accepted: 03 October 2017;
Published: 23 October 2017

Edited by:

Paul M. Coussens, Michigan State University, United States

Reviewed by:

Jayne Hope, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Kaori Sakamoto, University of Georgia, United States

Copyright: © 2017 Kennedy, O’Mahony, Byrne, MacSharry and Sayers. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Riona G. Sayers,


The Republic of Ireland reports a relatively low prevalence of Johne’s disease (JD) compared to international counterparts. Postulated reasons for this include a lower average herd size and a grass-based production system. Ireland also engages in high levels of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) testing. As interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is believed to play a key role in protecting against JD, it is our hypothesis that administration of purified protein derivative (PPD), as part of the bTB test, is associated with a systemic increase in IFN-γ production, which may potentially limit clinical progression of the disease. We studied 265 cows (202 Friesian and 63 “Non-Friesian,” e.g., JerseyX, Norwegian Red) to assess IFN-γ levels and Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) antibody response before and after the bTB test. As part of the compulsory annual bTB test, avian and bovine PPD were administered at two separate cervical sites. To assess IFN-γ production, blood samples were taken before and 72 h after PPD administration. MAP antibody response was assessed before and 10 days post-PPD administration. A significant increase in MAP antibody response was identified post-bTB compared to pre-bTB response (p < 0.001). Additionally, IFN-γ production significantly increased at the post-bTB time point (p < 0.001) compared to the pre-bTB test readings. This may indicate a beneficial effect of bTB testing in controlling JD.

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