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Mycoplasma bovis pneumonia in cattle

  • Jeff L. Caswell (a1) and Marie Archambault (a2)

Mycoplasma bovis is an important and emerging cause of respiratory disease and arthritis in feedlot cattle and young dairy and veal calves, and has a variety of other disease manifestations in cattle. M. bovis is certainly capable of causing acute respiratory disease in cattle, yet the attributable fraction has been difficult to estimate. In contrast, M. bovis is more accepted as a cause of chronic bronchopneumonia with caseous and perhaps coagulative necrosis, characterized by persistent infection that seems poorly responsive to many antibiotics. An understanding of the disease has been recently advanced by comparisons of natural and experimentally induced disease, development of molecular diagnostic tools, and understanding some aspects of virulence, yet uncertainties regarding protective immunity, the importance of genotypic diversity, mechanisms of virulence, and the role of co-pathogens have restricted our understanding of pathogenesis and our ability to effectively control the disease. This review critically considers the relationship between M. bovis infection and the various manifestations of the bovine respiratory disease complex, and addresses the pathogenesis, clinical and pathologic sequelae, laboratory diagnosis and control of disease resulting from M. bovis infection in the bovine respiratory tract.

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