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J Clin Microbiol. 1992 January; 30(1): 166–171.
PMCID: PMC265014

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis cultured from milk and supramammary lymph nodes of infected asymptomatic cows.


Milk and supramammary lymph node samples were obtained from asymptomatic cows infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis at the time of slaughter. Of 81 supramammary lymph node samples, 22 (27%) were culture positive for M. paratuberculosis. Of 77 milk samples, 9 (11.6%) were culture positive. The prevalence of supramammary lymph node or milk infection was highest with heavy fecal shedding of M. paratuberculosis and lowest with light shedding. The serologic status of the cow was not useful for predicting the risk of supramammary lymph node or milk infection. Shedding of M. paratuberculosis occurs in the milk of asymptomatic infected cows but, apparently, less frequently than previously reported for symptomatic cows.

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