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National Bovine Johne's Disease control program

The Australian Federal Government, in partnership with State governments and the cattle industries, has introduced a national program designed to control the spread of Bovine Johne's Disease, the disease suffered by cattle when they are infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. Among the tactics employed to contain the spread of BJD are

  • Herd testing and certification programs.

  • Zoning of farming areas based on BJD status.

  • Compulsory controls on the movement of BJD infected or suspect animals.

Funding for the national BJD control program is provided partly by the Federal Government, partly by the State Governments, and partly by the cattle industry, through a levy on the sales of cattle. The program has been successful to date, and similar programs have been developed to control Johne's Disease in sheep (see below), alpaca and goats.

For more information about Australia's program, go to Animal Health Australia.

National Ovine Johne's Disease control program.

Ovine Johne's Disease (the disease caused by MAP in sheep) was first detected in Australia in 1980, in the State of Victoria. Early attempts to control the spread of the disease failed, and by the late 1990s, hundreds of sheep flocks are infected with the disease. In an attempt to halt the further spread of OJD, the Australian Federal Government, working with State governments and the sheep industry, has introduced a national OJD control program. The program is based on the successful program to control Johne's Disease in cattle, and involves similar tactical approaches to controlling the disease.

Crohn's disease: Phase III clinical trial of anti-paratuberculosis antibiotic therapy underway in Australia

A phase III clinical trial of anti-paratuberculosis antibiotic therapy for Crohn's disease is ongoing in Australia. The antibiotic regimen under trial is a combination of Rifabutin (Mycobutin, Pharmacia), Clarithromycin (Biaxin/Klacid/Klaricid, Abbott Laboratories) and Clofazimine (Lamprene, Novartis). The Australian phase III trial involves over 200 patients with Crohn's disease, in all major cities across Australia. The purpose of the trial is to determine if anti-paratuberculosis antibiotic therapy is a more effective treatment for Crohn's disease than standard immunosuppressant therapy. This trial is a continuation of previous phase II trials which showed promising results using this and similar treatment regimes.

For more detailed information about this trial, visit the dedicated page Antibiotic Clinical Trial. 

Source:   Contact PARA:
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association, 1999-2003.