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Volume 44, Number 6, December 2011

 Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosisdIncidences in milk and milk products, their isolation, enumeration, characterization, and role in human health

Ami Patel, Nihir Shah

Received: September 9, 2009    Revised: December 21, 2009    Accepted: December 24, 2009   


Corresponding author:

 Corresponding author. Department of Dairy Microbiology, SMC College of Dairy Science, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat, India.


Background and purpose: 

 Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP), excreted in the feces and milk, is reported to be not easily inactivated by pasteurization and thermal treatments as other bacteria infecting humans and animals do. The D values of all MAP strains tested were considerably higher than those published for other pathogens. Culturing techniques for this organism are labor intensive. Although an increasing amount of scientific evidence suggests that this organism can be responsible for at least some cases of Crohn’s disease (CD), there is controversy about MAP being a cause of CD in humans. In general, although some studies have described an association between the presence of MAP and CD, the role of Mycobacterium species and MAP in the etiology of this human disease remains unestablished. Although published reports indicate that it may not be completely inactivated by pasteurization of milk, the effectiveness of increasing the time or temperature in the pasteurization process has not been established and hence any potential benefit to human health cannot be determined. This article summarizes the incidences of MAP in milk and milk products with respect to human health and brief discussion of various serological as well as molecular techniques used for their isolation, enumeration, and characterization.


Key words:

 Chemical decontaminationCrohn’s diseaseEnumerationIS900 PCRParatuberculosis