Dairy cows, and other ruminants, are the focus of a new Working Group meeting this week at NIMBioS. The “Within-host modeling of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infections” Working Group focuses on the bacterial pathogen MAP, which causes an intestinal infection in ruminants leading to Johne’s disease (JD). JD causes reduction of milk production, weight loss, and premature culling of clinically affected animals. In the U.S., JD has been found in 68 percent of dairy herds and causes an estimated annual loss of $200 million to the U.S. dairy industry. Despite long and intensive national-level efforts for JD control, the world is still far from preventing the significant economic impact of this formidable disease. The MAP Working Group has taken up the challenge and is working to develop a within-host MAP infection model, using observational data on infection patterns and within-host immune response data. The ultimate goal of the model is to provide an understanding of progression of disease in response to MAP infection and to devise better mitigation strategies for JD.
If you are interested in seeking support for your research, NIMBioS is now taking applications for support of new Working Groups, Investigative Workshops, Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Sabbatical Visits. The application deadline is Sept. 1, 2012. Click here for more information.