Our laboratory is fully certified by USDA, APHIS to conduct Johne’s testing by both direct PCR and liquid culture. We do routine herd testing as well as contract testing of animals for import/export purposes. The MSU VDL has a number of options available in this regard, with different charges (check the current fee schedule or test catalog for current prices) for each option.

Direct PCR uses molecular technology to identify bacterial DNA in the sample, providing accurate and rapid detection of MAP fecal shedding. The direct PCR sensitivity and specificity are comparable to culture. Turnaround time for this assay is short, with results available in 2-7 days.

Rapid liquid culture is available for the isolation of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis from feces, tissues, and environmental samples. We use the TREK system and provide complete culture results in 7 weeks from submission of the sample. Culture is likely to be positive in heavily infected animals within 21 days. Other cultures may take as long as 45 days for results. In a herd testing situation, a preliminary report will be issued as soon as one of the samples is confirmed to be positive. Please note: Samples from sheep and goats require a longer incubation time. Turnaround time for these species is up to 60 days for negative results. As with all other species, positives will be reported as soon as they are identified.

Our laboratory has sufficient staff and instruments available to accommodate expanded service and—with rare exceptions—samples are processed and cultures started weekly on Tuesday or Wednesday. We can also accommodate your Johne’s serology needs.

Testing Options

    • Direct PCR (95072): PCR direct from feces to detect Mycobacterium paratuberculosis DNA.
    • Direct PCR Pooled (95073): PCR direct from pooled feces from 2-5 animals to detect Mycobacterium paratuberculosis DNA. Samples from positive pools can be re-tested individually to determine which are positive.
    • Routine Culture (95060): Culture for up to 42 days with PCR confirmation from liquid culture of all positives. See test catalog for ovine and caprine samples.
    • Maximum sensitivity Culture (95057): Culture for 42 days with PCR confirmation from liquid culture of all positives and all negatives.
    • Pooled fecal cultures (95058): Pools of 2-5 animals. Culture for up to 42 days with PCR confirmation from liquid culture of all positives. Samples from positive pools are re-tested individually at the reduced pool follow-up rate (95059). See the information in our test catalog for the recommended testing protocol.
    • Serology (90039): ELISA testing is available. Serum or milk ELISA – for cattle, serum ELISA for sheep or goats. Agarose Immunodiffusion – any species (bison, zoo animals, deer, alpaca, llama).

Sample Submission

    • Please see our test catalog for complete collection/submission information for each test type.
    • Each fecal sample, even if it is for pooled testing, should be collected and identified individually. Pooling will be performed at the laboratory. Samples may be submitted in a variety of containers, but snap-cap milk tubes are preferred. Whirlpack bags are also acceptable. Please do not submit samples collected in gloves or OB sleeves.
    • Please fill out our general lab submittal form and ship the samples to the address on the submittal form. Please list the animal numbers on the second page of the submittal form or an additional sheet of paper.
    • Our lab accepts samples Monday through Saturday. We do not charge an accession fee or an out-of-state premium.