February 01, 2004


 USDA approves new, rapid Johne's disease test

Posted Jan. 15, 2004

The Department of Agriculture has approved a fast and inexpensive new Johne's disease test developed by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Researchers Kay Faaberg, PhD, and Carrie E. Wees, a molecular diagnostician, developed the DNA-based PCR test, which will allow hundreds of samples to be tested at once and will take only 48 hours to complete. Standard Johne's disease tests take four months to complete, according to the university. The test will be available exclusively from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The new test was developed to aid efforts by the Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, and livestock producers to control Johne's disease in Minnesota, which infects 25 percent of the state's dairy herds, according to the university.

"We've made great progress, but it isn't enough," said Dr. Jeffery Klausner, dean of the veterinary college. "Our intention is to further increase the speed and reduce the cost of the test. We won't be satisfied until Johne's disease is well on its way to being controlled in Minnesota."