Effectiveness of copper ions against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and bacterial communities in naturally contaminated raw cow’s milk

Pamela Steuer, C. Tejeda, O. Martinez, A. Ramirez-Reveco, N. González, Irene R. Grant, Antonio Foddai, M.T. Collins, Miguel Salgado*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The focus of the present study was the evaluation of the copper ions treatment on the viability of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and other bacterial communities in cow’s milk.
Methods and Results:
A copper ions treatment was evaluated in naturally contaminated cow’s milk to assay MAP load and/or viability; and relative abundance of other bacterial communities. In addition, physical-chemical analysis of the milk was also performed. All analyses were carried out before and after a copper ions treatment. After copper ions treatment, pH and copper concentration markedly increased in milk; the numbers of viable MAP significantly decreased. The relative abundance of the four target phyla decreased, with the phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes surviving treatment in higher proportions (4% and 2.1 %, respectively). A progressively higher percentage of dead bacterial cells after 5 min and 20 min copper ions treatments was found (12% and 35%, respectively).
With the exception of some MAP tolerant strains, we have once again demonstrated that copper ions have a significant inactivating effect on MAP as well as certain other bacterial communities found in naturally contaminated cow’s milk.
Significance and Impact of Study:
This study showed a significant inactivation of both MAP and other bacteria by copper ions in raw cow’s milk, information that could be useful as a tool for MAP control.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied microbiology
Early online date05 Nov 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 05 Nov 2020


  • Paratuberculosis
  • copper
  • treatment
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Johne’s disease, immunomagnetic separation, phage amplification assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, burst size
  • bacterial communities


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