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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 May 15;230(10):1514-8.

Prevalence of Mycoplasma bovis in backgrounding and stocker cattle operations.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Disease, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.



To characterize the prevalence of Mycoplasma bovis infection in backgrounding and stocker cattle operations and compare bacteriologic culture with PCR assay for detection of M bovis.


Prospective descriptive study.


432 calves, 3 to 9 months old, from 9 operations.


2 nasal swab specimens were collected from each calf. Swab specimens were evaluated via bacteriologic culture and PCR assay for organisms of the class Mollicutes and M bovis. Culture results were considered negative if no growth occurred within 21 days. Positive results were indicated by characteristic colony formation with PCR assay confirmation. Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted from 1 swab specimen for direct PCR assay for Mollicutes and M bovis.


Of 432 calves, 374 (87%) had positive results for Mollicutes via PCR assay and 63 (15%) via culture. Seven (2%) calves had positive results for M bovis via PCR assay and 10 (2%) via culture. Prevalence of Mollicutes at the farm level ranged from 54% to 100% via PCR assay and from 0% to 59% via culture. Prevalence of M bovis at the farm level ranged from 0% to 4% via PCR assay and from 0% to 6% via culture. Calves that shed M bovis were significantly more likely to have a fever than were calves that did not shed M bovis.


M bovis was detected at a low level in recently purchased backgrounded and stocker calves in Georgia. Although slightly more infected calves were detected via culture and PCR assay together, PCR assay appeared to accurately identify M bovis at the farm level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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