Samples being examined in a lab

Designated Laboratories

Only designated laboratories may transfer results to the ICBF database for use in the Irish Johne’s Control Programme (IJCP).

Designated Laboratories for Johne’s Disease Testing


Blood and milk tests for Johne’s disease detect the antibody response of the animal to the bacteria that causes Johne’s. However this response typically does not develop for some years after infection. Therefore it is probable that a significant proportion of infected animals will not be detected by any of the currently available tests, particularly the first time that a herd is screened. Also, while most positive test results reflect the true infection status of the animal, it is possible that a very small proportion of uninfected animals may give positive test results. In such instances it is recommended that the animal be further tested using a dung sample to detect the bacteria that causes Johne’s.

It should be noted however, that some infected animals will have positive test results using blood or milk and negative test results using dung samples. In all cases the interpretation of test results should be carried out in conjunction with the AHI Approved Veterinary Practitioner who carried out your on-farm risk assessment (VRAMP) or with the veterinary practitioner who submitted the samples.

All designated laboratories are independently accredited for Johne’s disease whole herd testing using ELISA test method and ancillary testing of individual faecal samples using the PCR test. Results relate only to the sample as received by the laboratory and, whilst laboratories warrant that their tests will meet their applicable declared specifications, the laboratories make no other warranty, expressed or implied and accept no responsibility or liability in respect of false results which are within the limits of the declared specifications of the tests offered. No representation or warranty is given by AHI, ICBF, the Johne’s disease Technical Working Group, the Implementation Group or any member, employee or other person connected with any of the foregoing bodies as to the accuracy of any Johne’s disease test method or test result.

Neither AHI, ICBF, the Johne’s disease Technical Working Group, the Implementation Group nor any member, employee or other person connected with any of the foregoing bodies shall have any liability or responsibility in respect of any laboratory or the accuracy of any test methods, test results or reports produced by any laboratory.

Laboratory Designation Process

The Johne’s Disease Implementation Group (JDIG) recognises the provision of cost-effective laboratory services and the accurate and timely reporting of test results is a critical component of the Irish Johne’s Control Programme.

The accompanying three documents lay down the criteria on which laboratories may apply for designation, the terms and conditions relating to laboratory designation and an application form for laboratories wishing to be considered for designation. Laboratories considering applying for designation must do so by reference to the latest version of the documents listed below, which are subject to updating and revision from time to time.

Laboratories wishing to be designated should return the completed application form accompanied by all necessary supporting documentation to:

Laboratory Designation
c/o Animal Health Ireland
2 -5 The Archways
Co. Leitrim

Electronic copies of the application form, all necessary supporting documentation and all queries relating to laboratory designation should be submitted to:

While applications will be accepted in electronic format, hard copies of all documents should be remitted to the above address as soon as possible thereafter.

The Johne’s disease application form for Laboratory designation and terms and conditions of designation are currently being reviewed.  Contact the AHI office if you wish to apply for, or review, a laboratory designation.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.