Paratuberculosis in dairy and pygmy goats: an underestimated problem?

  • A. Tuerlinckx
  • J. Vicca
  • P. Deprez
  • B. Pardon


Paratuberculosis is a chronic intestinal disease affecting goats and other ruminants worldwide. The objective of this review was to summarize current knowledge on the prevalence, diagnostic possibilities and possible prevention and control measures for paratuberculosis in dairy and pygmy goats in Europe. The herd level prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in dairy goat farms is very high, namely 71%, 63% and 86% in Germany, France and the Netherlands, respectively. The prevalence in pygmy goats is undocumented. Antibody ELISA, fecal culture and PCR testing are readily available for diagnosis. A highly suggestive finding for paratuberculosis is the presence of enlarged intestinal lymph nodes on abdominal ultrasonography. To control the disease a combination of ‘test and cull’ and environmental hygienic measures are recommended. In contrast to cattle, vaccination is available and might be an additional tool in the control program for goats. Vaccine antibodies are no longer detectable after one year, and therefore serological monitoring can be continued on vaccinating herds. The worrisome prevalence data from neighboring countries indicate the need for a prevalence study on dairy goat farms in Belgium.

How to Cite:

Tuerlinckx, A. & Vicca, J. & Deprez, P. & Pardon, B., (2018) “Paratuberculosis in dairy and pygmy goats: an underestimated problem?”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 87(3), 127-133. doi:

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Published on
27 Jun 2018
Peer Reviewed