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J Hyg (Lond). 1973 Mar;71(1):163-70.

The virulence of T-mycoplasmas, isolated from various animal species, assayed by intramammary inoculation in cattle.


The virulence of T-mycoplasmas for cattle was tested by examining their ability to produce mastitis in cows. It was found that both virulent and avirulent strains of T-mycoplasmas can be isolated from cattle. All of four strains from pneumonic calf lungs and a strain from a case of bovine kerato-conjunctivitis caused mastitis but only two of four strains isolated from the urogenital tract of cows were virulent. None of the human, simian or canine T-mycoplasmas examined were able to cause mastitis in cattle. However, a bovine strain was found to be capable of causing mastitis in goats. Virulent and avirulent strains from the same and different species contain common antigens detected by the metabolic inhibition test. Pathogenicity could not be shown to be characteristic of any particular serotype. The possibility is raised of some species barrier being responsible for the inability of non-bovine strains to infect cattle.

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