Project: Improvements in the diagnosis and control of bovine mycoplasmosis.

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the most common disease affecting housed cattle worldwide and is a major impediment to animal production leading to huge economic losses. Over the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that infection by mycoplasmas, chiefly Mycoplasma bovis, are major primary and contributory causes to bovine BRD in Europe and Israel. Mycoplasmas have also been shown to be involved in a range of other clinical conditions including mastitis, arthritis, otitis and reproductive disorders but their true impact is unknown because of lack of information in this area. What makes this extremely serious is that, unlike the majority of viral and bacterial pathogens, there are presently no effective control measures for mycoplasma diseases. While it has been known for many years that antibiotics such as the penicillins and cephalosprins are not effective on mycoplasmas, which lack a cell wall, evidence is now overwhelming from in vitro studies that strains of M. bovis circulating in Europe today have very high minimum inhibitory concentrations for the majority of commercially available antibiotics (including the fluoroquinolones like marbofloxacin) which seriously compromise their effectiveness in vivo. Those antibiotics which are still effective need to be chosen well, used early and decisively because of the ability of mycoplasmas to disseminate widely within the host and to form biofilms. Furthermore, unlike other bovine pathogens, no vaccines are presently available in Europe and are unlikely to be available for the next 5 years. The objectives of this proposal are: • To determine the role of Mycoplasma bovis in BRD in imported cattle in Italy • To improve diagnostic tests providing a more accurate understanding of the role of mycoplasmas in BRD and related diseases. • To develop a robust and reproducible typing scheme to enable epidemiological tracing of M. bovis outbreaks. • To determine M. bovis antibiotic profiles in real time. • To evaluate use of inactivated M. bovis vaccine on farms with confirmed M. bovis respiratory disease. This proposal fits the aims of EMIDA because it intends: to develop improved diagnostic tests in the form of microarrays which will help early detection and monitoring of respiratory and mastitic disease caused by mycoplasmas; to promote disease prevention control by the development of a vaccine and, where necessary, provide correct treatment protocols which will reduce reliance on antimicrobials. This will be achieved by molecular tracking M. bovis strains with different antibiotics susceptibility. It will also provide more detailed information on the role and prevalence of mycoplasmas in BRD in feedlot cattle and bovine mastitis as well as new tests to monitor antibiotic resistance.

Acronym Improvements in the diagnosis and control of bovine mycoplasmosis.
Duration 31/12/2013
Website visit project website
Network EMIDA
Call EMIDA 2009 Research Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Clondiag Chip Tecnologies GmbH Germany
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs United Kingdom
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Coordinator United Kingdom
Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health Germany
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Venezie Italy
Kimron Veterinary Institute Israel
Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Italy
Ministry of Health - Department for Veterinary Public Health, Nutrition and Food Safety Italy