Milan Gautam

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2019
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Epidemiology of Ovine Paratuberculosis in New Zealand

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Paratuberculosis (PTB) is an important disease of all major ruminant livestock species in New Zealand (NZ). Mr Gautam investigated epidemiology and microbiology of PTB and the specific molecular characteristics of the causing organism, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) with a focus on ovine species in NZ. PTB control is voluntary in all livestock industries including sheep. In clinically affected commercial sheep farms, estimated mortality due to clinical PTB in fine wool breeds was 2.7 times higher, compared to other breeds. Vaccination may be cost-effective if annual ewe mortality due to clinical disease is >1%. In non-clinical flocks, the within flock median prevalence of MAP shedding and MAP ELISA antibody positive was 13.5% and 10% respectively. Approximately 1% of ewes in quantitative polymerase chain reaction positive flocks were super-shedders. Whole genome sequence data showed Type S Map genotypes from sheep were similar regardless of sheep breed or disease outcome in hosts.

Professor Cord Heuer
Dr Marian Price-Carter
Professor Peter Wilson
Associate Professor Anne Ridler
Professor Patrick Biggs