Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Principal Investigator: Yung-Fu Chang

Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-3675
Sponsor: Penn State University-USDA
Grant Number: 4380-CU-USDA-1136
Title: Vaccine Trial Against Johne’s Disease in a Mouse Model
Annual Direct Cost: $27,636
Project Period: 02/01/11-03/31/11

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A leading cause of economic loss in bovine, sheep and goat industries is Johne's disease (JD, also known as paratuberculosis) caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). JD is a chronic infectious disease of domestic and exotic ruminants, including cattle, sheep, goats, cervids, and camelids. The organism is a slow-growing intracellular bacterium that causes thickening of the intestinal wall, which reduces absorptive capability. This disease is characterized by chronic, granulomatous enteritis with intermittent but persistent diarrhea, progressive weight loss, and eventually death. JD is untreatable, and cannot be accurately diagnosed in early stages of infection; an effective vaccine is therefore urgently needed to control this disease. Since MAP is an intracellular pathogen, the elicitation of a cytotoxic T lymphocyte response is essential for protection against infection. Hence, we will perform a vaccine trail using the attenuated MAP mutant supplied by JDIP. We will determine whether one or some of these mutants can induce a protection against MAP challenge. Our final goal is to develop a safe and protective vaccine that can be used in the field against MAP infection. We anticipate knowledge of the immune responses generated by this study which will aid us in the design improved vaccines for the prevention and control of JD. Two months worth of the funding will come from APHIS and the remaining funding with come from the Johne's Disease Integrated Program.