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Novel Strategies for Determining Thermal Destruction of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis

Investigators
Coffman, William
Institutions
Cornell University
Start date
1999
End date
2002
Objective
At the conclusion of this project, we will have established specific heat treatment parameters for the destruction of M paratuberculosis and will have developed a rapid detection method to improve dairy herd health management.
More information
The American dairy industry annually loses $120 million to Iohne's disease, an incurable bacterial infection in cattle. The infection is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. Infected cattle shed M paratuberculosis into milk and feces, posing a possible health risk to humans. Although pasteurization of raw milk kills most spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, isolation of M paratuberculosis from humans suffering from Crohn's disease, an incurable inflammatory bowel disease with clinical symptoms similar to Iohne's disease, suggests a possible causal relationship. Processing times and temperatures that will enhance destruction of M. paratuberculosis in milk remain to be established. Current standard culturing techniques for enumerating viable M paratuberculosis cells will detect the presence of low numbers, but are laborious, time-consuming and may not allow detection of sublethally heat injured, viable butnon-culturable cells (VNC). The VNC may represent a significant proportion of cells surviving heat treatment. To better establish whether M paratuberculosis cells are killed by pasteurization, we will use M. paratuberculosis strains engineered to produce light when viable to test the efficacy of pasteurization and to develop a strategy for screening for the presence of M paratuberculosis in raw and processed milk. At the conclusion of this project, we will have established specific heat treatment parameters for the destruction of M paratuberculosis and will have developed a rapid detection method to improve dairy herd health management.
Project number
NYC-143326
Accession number
182722
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens