Background: Paratuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is a chronic progressive granulomatous enteritis mainly affecting domestic and wild ruminants worldwide. Although paratuberculosis could be prevail in Ethiopia, there is a scarcity of epidemiological data on paratuberculosis in the country. Thus, this study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of paratuberculosis based on gross and microscopic lesions in cattle slaughtered at ELFORA Abattoir, central Ethiopia. Small intestines and associated lymph nodes of 400 apparently healthy cattle which were slaughtered at ELFORA export abattoir were examined for gross and microscopic lesions of paratuberculosis. The microscopic lesions were classified into four grades (I-IV) based on the type and number of cells infiltrated into the lesion. The prevalence of paratuberculosis was estimated on the basis of gross as well as microscopic lesion of paratuberculosis. Results: The prevalence of paratuberculosis was 11.25% (95% Confidence interval, CI = 0.083–0.148) on the basis of gross lesion. However, relatively lower prevalence (2.0%, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.039) was recorded based on microscopic lesion. The gross lesions were characterized by intestinal thickening, mucosal corrugations and enlargement of associated mesenteric lymph nodes. On the other hand, the microscopic lesions were characterized by granuloma of different grades ranging from grade I to grade III lesions. Conclusions: The present study indicated the occurrence of paratuberculosis in cattle of Ethiopia based on the detection of gross and microscopic lesions consistent with the lesion of paratuberculosis. The result of this study could be used as baseline information for future studies on the epidemiology and economic significance of paratuberculosis.
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