Mycoplasma bovis

7th March 2017

Mycoplasma bovis

Welcome to the work which the Derbyshire Agricultural Chaplaincy is undertaking concerning this debilitating disease. Here you will find presentations and case studies from farmers who have experienced Mycoplasma bovis in their milking herds. The Chaplains have gathered this data with academically accepted methods which also have preserved anonymity. If you would like to know more or would like to contribute to a case study, please contact:

Rev Prof Stella Mills

Tel: 01283 820110 or 07486 314738

Email: or

A Brief Outline

This mollecute is the smallest known bacterium and is wall-less until it is under attack from antibiotics when, according to some microbiologists, it develops a viscous like wall for protection. This means that it is very difficult to kill and some scientists believe that it remains alive for many months, often in a dormant state, until some stressful situation in the animal triggers an outbreak.

In milking cattle, it is an emerging disease with variable symptoms but, generally, fever, pneumonia, swollen hocks, runny noses, mastitis, otitis and/or conjunctivitis are the symptoms of Mycoplasma bovis or one of its mutant strains. In some cases, up to four different strains of mycoplasma may be present.

The disease may attack calves, which usually die within a few days, or heifers and cows or the whole herd.

At the present time, 2017, Mycoplasma bovis is not notifiable and there is no Government compensation available. Also, it is not possible to insure animals against and outbreak.

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