Johne’s Disease (Paratuberculosis)

Johne’s disease (JD) is an incurable infection of the gut by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). It affects cattle, sheep, goats, deer, alpacas and a range of other herbivores. Infection with MAP results in wasting and in some species chronic terminal diarrhoea. Many animals that are infected show no clinical signs but are still potentially infective to other animals. The disease causes production losses and can end with the animal’s death. There are two commonly recognised strains of JD in Australia, the cattle strain (c strain) and sheep strain (s strain) but other strains are occasionally seen. Historically the bovine strain is the more common infection in cattle but there have been increasing reports  of cattle being infected with S strain, probably as a result of co-grazing with JD infected sheep.

There are vaccines registered for both sheep (Gudair®) and cattle (Silirum®) which are very effective at preventing most clinical losses.

Important changes to the way JD in cattle is regulated were introduced on 1st of July 2016.

Click here to download a biosecurity plan as part of your JD management.

The JD Biosecurity Checklist has been developed to help producers determine other questions they may want to ask about the JD history of the cattle and their property of origin.

For the latest information on JD in sheep and cattle see the following links.

Useful Links

The national approach to JD is now at: