Prevalence and spectrum of Johne's disease lesions in cattle slaughtered at two abattoirs in Kampala, Uganda

Julius Boniface Okuni, Manfred Reinacher, Panayiotis Loukopoulos, Lonzy Ojok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and characteristics of Johne's disease (JD) lesions in Ugandan cattle slaughtered at two of the main abattoirs in Kampala. Ileocaecal junction and the associated lymph nodes of 1,022 cattle were examined for gross and microscopic lesions, followed by Ziehl Neelsen staining of the tissues bearing lesions. Confirmation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection was done in some of the tissues using culture and IS900 PCR. The lesions were then described, characterised and tabulated. Characteristic Johne's disease granulomas were found in 4.7% of the samples examined, derived from Zebu, Ankole longhorn, Friesian breeds of cattle and their crosses. Lesions were found both in the lymph nodes and ileocaecal junction mucosa. The lesions tended to be more severe in the lymph node than in the mucosa. There were also some unique and atypical lesions found in association with Johne's disease granulomas. The diagnostic values of various gross lesions and criteria of lesion classifications and diagnosis are revisited and discussed based on the findings of this study. The prevalence of Johne's disease lesions among slaughtered cattle in Kampala's two abattoirs indicates that the disease is well established in the cattle population in the country. The diverse manifestations in lesions of JD need to be considered when making histological diagnosis in tissues where the disease is suspected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1202
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number72
Early online date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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