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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2011, Article ID 506239, 6 pages
Research Article

Leaching of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Soil under In Vitro Conditions

1Department of Comparative Pathobiology School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223, USA
3Agronomy Department, College of Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 13 January 2011; Revised 22 March 2011; Accepted 15 April 2011

Academic Editor: Michael D. Welsh

Copyright © 2011 Eran A. Raizman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (Map), the causative agent of Johne's disease, has a robust ability to survive in the environment. However, the ability of Map to migrate through soil to drainage tiles or ground water, leave the farm, and leak into local watersheds is inadequately documented. In order to assess the ability of Map to leach through soil, two laboratory experiments were conducted. In the first study, 8 columns (30 cm long each) of a sandy loam soil were treated with pure cultures of Map. Two soil moisture levels and two Map concentrations were used. The columns were leached with 500 mL of water once a week for three weeks, the leachate was collected, and detection analysis was conducted. In the second experiment, manure from Map negative cows (control) and Map high shedder cows (treatment) were deposited on 8 similar columns and the columns were leached with 500 mL of water once a week for four weeks. Map detection and numeration in leachate samples were done with RT-PCR and culture techniques, respectively. Using RT-PCR, Map could be detected in the leachates in both experiments for several weeks but could only be recovered using culture techniques in experiment one. Combined, these experiments indicate the potential for Map to move through soil as a result of rainfall or irrigation following application.