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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2010 Sep;22(5):766-9.

Prevalence of Mycoplasma haemolamae infection in Peruvian and Chilean llamas and alpacas.

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  • 1200 Magruder Hall, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Mycoplasma haemolamae is a hemotropic mycoplasma that affects red blood cells of llamas (Lama glama) and alpacas (Lama pacos). It is variably associated with anemia, and most infections are subclinical. Development of a polymerase chain reaction assay has facilitated detection of this infection in llamas and alpacas in the United States and other countries. Whether the infection occurs in camelids in South America has previously been unknown. The current study documents a 15.8% infection rate among 76 Peruvian llamas, a 19.3% infection rate among Peruvian alpacas at one site, and a 9.26% infection rate in 108 Chilean alpacas from selected herds. All of the camelids tested appeared to be clinically healthy. No gender or species predilection was found. Only 1 positive camelid younger than 18 months was found. Infection is not associated with anemia, and the mean packed cell volume (PCV) in positive Peruvian camelids was slightly higher than the mean PCV in negative Peruvian camelids. In the Chilean alpacas, the positive alpacas had a slightly lower PCV than the negative alpacas, although the mean PCV was not in the anemic range in any of the groups.

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