Mycoplasma Bovis - a debilitating disease

Welcome to the work which Revd. Professor Stella Mills of the Agricultural Chaplaincy Project is undertaking concerning this debilitating disease. 

An 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 hole herd.

What's the cost?

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

It is not easy to diagnose this emerging disease. Costs can be significant which, when combined with no compensation all adds up to a significant stressful time for livestock farmers.

More Information

AHDB Myco Research Booklet


The DAC leaflet.