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Animal Industry Bureau

Iowa's Johne's Disease Control Program

Johne's Disease Testing

Test Results are CONFIDENTIAL, within limits of Iowa law

What are the most common diagnostic tests available for Johne’s disease?

  • Direct or “Official” organism-based tests which detect Johne’s bacteria
    1. Fecal Culture - grows Johne’s organism from manure sample
    2. PCR - detects genetic material from Johne’s organism if present in the manure sample
  • Indirect or antibody tests, including ELISA, detect an immune response from exposure to all types of Mycobacteria, including Johne’s bacteria

What if an animal shows up positive to an ELISA or a fecal test?

  • A positive ELISA classifies a herd as infected, but the ELISA test positive animal is considered a suspect. It is recommended that the suspect animal be confirmed by fecal culture within 45 days unless Johne’s has already been   confirmed on the premises.
  • A positive fecal culture or fecal PCR, which are official Johne’s disease tests, designate the affected animal as infected.

    A positive fecal culture or PCR is to be reported to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Johne’s disease is a reportable but not a quarantineable disease.

    The infected animal is restricted to the premise.

    The infected animal is identified with a C-punch in right ear  (by the District veterinarian)

    The identified infected animal can moved for the purpose of  slaughter only and must be accompanied by an owner-shipper  statement delivered to consignee.

    An official JD test positive animal’s status may be appealed within 30 days of report, but is subjected to additional and extensive testing.

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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