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An overwhelming number of studies point to a relation between Johne’s disease and Crohn’s. 80% of the patients with Crohn’s are positive for Mycobacterium Paratubercolosis (MAP) infection when examined by intestinal biopsy. (Fouad A. K. El-Zaataria, Michael S. Osatob and David Y. Graham, a Inflammatory Bowel Disease Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Rm 3A-320, Houston, TX 77030, USA)

Drinking milk from cows infected with Johne’s disease is how people are exposed to paratuberculosis infection. Milk is the "logical" focus of exposure because cows with Johne's disease secrete MAP abundantly in their milk. Milk studies done in Europe, among them a study from Switzerland in 2003, where 1,384 bulk milk samples from different regions were tested for M. paratuberculosis using DNA probe methods, show that 19.7 percent were positive for the bacteria. Intriguingly, the cows from Swiss farms were predominantly asymptomatic – they were apparently ill, but not producing the massive diarrhea that characterizes the latter stages of M. paratuberculosis infection.

In 1984 Dr. Rodrick Chiodini, at Brown University demonstrated that m. paratuberculosis sheds its cell wall in humans, and takes a new form, called a spheroblast. In a landmark study, Dr. Chiodini cultured Mycobacteria from children infected with Crohn's.

Further establishing the causative link, M. paratuberculosis isolated from Crohn's patients was found to cause a similar disease when fed to farm animals. It is therefore evident that individuals that are genetically predisposed can be contracting the disease through digestion of Johne’s disease –infected milk "I am absolutely certain that some strains of MAP can be pathogenic for humans and can cause Crohn's disease in susceptible people. Since MAP is known to be a primary specific cause of chronic inflammation of the intestine in many different species, including primates, it would be remarkable if it did not cause disease in humans."  -John Hermon-Taylor, Professor, St. George's Medical School, London, England and a leading world expert on Crohn's Disease.