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Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is a slowly growing mycobacterial species, requiring 6 to 8 weeks of culture before colonies can be counted visually. Here, we describe the development of luminescent M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis expressing luxAB genes of Vibrio harveyi and its use for vaccine testing in an experimental mouse model, replacing fastidious CFU counting by rapid luminometry.