Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

FRI Briefings Mycobacterium paratuberculosis — Another Emerging Pathogen of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract?

By Prepared M. Ellin Doyle and Ph. D


Crohn’s Disease (CD) in humans and Johne’s disease in cattle both involve a chronic granulomatous enteritis primarily in the small intestine. Symptoms of these diseases are similar to those of intestinal tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis), and the agent responsible for Johne’s disease is known to be Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. The etiology of CD has so far defied explanation but a great deal of recent research has been devoted to a search for M. paratuberculosis in patients with CD, sarcoidosis, and ulcerative colitis. If this bacterium is associated with any human diseases, then there is the question as to whether people can acquire M. paratuberculosis from animals with clinical or subclinical Johne’s disease. It is believed that CD is multifactorial in origin, possibly involving some genetic predisposition and other environmental factors as well as an infectious agent (1). This update will present current information on the possible role of M. paratuberculosis in CD and on potential vehicles for its transmission. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis was first associated with an intestinal disease of cattle about a hundred years ago. At first it was difficult to distinguish this bacterium from tubercle bacilli but eventually they were isolated and characterized and Johne’s disease was distinguished from intestinal tuberculosis. Although a number of diagnostic tests are available, it is not always possible to detect these bacteria in sick cattle. The bacteria penetrate the intestinal mucosa, are phagocytized by macrophages, and continue to multiply inside the macrophages. Granulomas, compac

Year: 1997
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.