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Johne's Disease Program
Let's clean up Johne's
Let's clean up Johne's flyer.pdf.752KB
Johne's testing options
Johne's testing options at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Animal Health Lab
The ELISA test detects 85 percent of moderate-to-high shedding animals. It detects a proportionally lower percentage of low shedding animals.
The ELISA misses up to 15 percent of moderate-to-high shedders.
Research shows that when the ELISA test is used in conjunction with effective management the outcome is a significantly reduced level of infection within a herd.
The ELISA test results are available within one week.
The ELISA test is most effective when used regularly in a dry cow testing regime at dry off.
The fee is $13.00 for the first test, then $4.50 for each additional test up to 10 samples, then $4.00 for each additional test over 10 samples.
Fecal culture
The fecal culture is more sensitive than the ELISA. The culture test usually detects all moderate-to-high shedding animals.
The culture test detects a greater percentage of low shedding animals than the ELISA does.
Very low counts (One or two colony forming units) may be due to a phenomenon known as pass through. Pass through is when a cow ingests the organism and it passes through her gastro-intestinal system and is cultured in the cow's manure.
  • One third of very low count cows will show increased shedding and eventually become clinical
  • One third continue to shed very low levels of organism
  • One third may not culture positive again

The fecal culture test requires six weeks to detect high shedders and 12 weeks for full results.
The culture test is effective in vaccinated herds.
The fecal culture test may be a desirable method for herds that are not seeing enough progress with ELISA testing, or in herds that are close to eradication.
In herds with low prevalence of Johne's (<10 percent culture positive), pooling may be considered to reduce cost.
The fecal culture test should be most effective when used regularly in a pre-dry test regime.
In very low incidence herds, fecal samples may be pooled in groups of five to improve cost effectiveness of the test.
The fee is $12 per test, whether samples are single or pooled.
Fecal real time PCR -
  • Rapid tool for detecting low to high shedders.
  • Results available within one week
  • Effective in vaccinated herds.
  •              Test of choice for screening herd replacements.
  • Should be most effective when used regularly in a dry cow testing regime.
  • $45 first test, then $12.00 each additional test.
Pooled Fecal real time PCR - 
The ODA Johne's pooled PCR study (2010) concluded:
Of 568 fecal samples cultured individually and then tested in pools of up to 5 samples per pool (84 pools)
  •           Pooled PCR correctly indentified 100% of the positive pools containing greater than 2 colonies per individual sample within the pool.
  •           Samples containing only one colony, when pooled, were missed approximately 70% of the time.
  •           Pooled PCR misidentified one of the 84 pools as high positive that contained no colonies on the individual fecal samples within the pool.
The convience, rapidity, reliability and cost savings of pooled PCR testing in low incidence herds makes it the test of choice for screening herds for moderate to high shedding animals.
$45 first pool, then $15.00 each additional pool
For further information regarding Johne's testing options
Brad R. LeaMaster, State Veterinarian

Testing through ODA
ODA continues to support Johne's reduction and prevention efforts for Oregon cattle producers.
Johne's subsidized testing (at cost of test materials)

  • Participants must have a current Risk Assessment and Management Plan
  • All test results are confidential
  • Tests are available as follows:
  • Blood ELISA: $13.00 first test; $4.50 per test for 2-10 tests; $4.00 per test for more than 10 tests
  • Fecal culture: $45.00 first test; $12.00 each additional test
  • Fecal PCR: $45.00 first test; $12.00 each additional test
  • Fecal Pooled PCR:  $45.00 first test; $15.00 each additional test
Risk Assessments and Management Plans
  • Contact your private practitioner or ODA to conduct a Risk Assessment and prepare a Management Plan. This assessment and plan provides an effective means of dealing with Johne's and all other fecal borne diseases.
  • One hundred forty Oregon dairy herds are enrolled in the Johne's Management Program.
Johne's status herds
  • Fifteen herds are enrolled in the Johne's Test Negative Program.
  • If you want to participate, call 503-986-4680.
Johne's Program questions
  • Contact your herd veterinarian
  • Brad R. LeaMaster, State Veterinarian / Designated Johne's Coordinator, 503-986-4680

Johne's newsletter
Johne's Disease- newsletters

Johne's Management Form
Johne's Management form, in a pdf format.