WARF: P130200US02

Potential for Vaccine Against Johne’s Disease


Adel Talaat

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing methods for protecting farm animals against paratuberculosis using mutated mycobacteria strains.
OVERVIEWJohne’s disease, or paratuberculosis, is a chronic and usually fatal wasting disease that is found worldwide and impacts more than half of the dairy herds in the U.S. alone. It costs the ruminant industries more than $200 million every year in reduced milk production and premature culling.

The microorganism responsible for the disease is a Mycobacterial avium subspecies called M. paratuberculosis (MAP). The bacterium survives within animal macrophage cells using mechanisms not fully understood. The current vaccine does not protect against severe infection or prevent the disease from being spread through feces.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed MAP strains with mutated global gene regulators (GGRs) that may be utilized in a vaccine against Johne’s disease.

GGRs are proteins needed for initiating RNA synthesis, for example, sigma factors and transcriptional regulators. By deleting, inactivating or reducing some key GGR sequences in MAP bacteria, non-virulent strains could be produced and administered to animals to confer immunity.
  • Prevention and treatment of Johne’s disease
  • May lead to new vaccine
  • Could produce strong immunity and prevent fecal transmission
  • Could lead to methods for preventing and treating Crohn’s disease in humans, which may be linked to Johne’s disease
For More Information About the Inventors
  • Hsu C.Y., Wu C.W. and Talaat A.M. 2011. Genome-Wide Sequence Variations Among Mycobacterium Avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis: A Better Understanding of Johne’s Disease Transmission Dynamics. Front. Microbiol. 2, 236.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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