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The authors screened 34 large cattle herds for the presence of Mycoplasma bovis infection by examining slaughtered cattle for macroscopic lung lesions, by culturing M. bovis from lung lesions and at the same time by testing sera for the presence of antibodies against M. bovis. Among the 595 cattle examined, 33.9% had pneumonic lesions, mycoplasmas were isolated from 59.9% of pneumonic lung samples, and 10.9% of sera from those animals contained antibodiesto M. bovis. In 25.2% of the cases M. bovis was isolated from lungs with no macroscopic lesions. The proportion of seropositive herds was 64.7%. The average seropositivity rate of individuals was 11.3% but in certain herds it exceeded 50%. A probability model was developed for examining the relationship among the occurrence of pneumonia, the isolation of M. bovis from the lungs and the presence of M. bovis specific antibodies in sera.

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Clinical, bacteriological and serological examination of 35 calves from the age of 5 to 26 days was performed in a Holstein-Friesian dairy herd endemically infected with Mycoplasma bovis. M. bovis was isolated from 48.6% of nasal swabs taken from the calves at the age of 5 days, and from 91.4% of the same calves at the age of 26 days, indicating the gradual spread of infection. The isolation rate of Pasteurella multocida did not change much, and varied from 28.6 to 25.7%. No P. haemolytica could be detected. In addition to M. bovis and P. multocida, the herd was also infected with different viruses (including bovine viral diarrhoea virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, bovine adenoviruses, parainfluenza-3 virus, and bovine respiratory syncytial virus) as a large proportion of the sera of newborn calves contained colostral antibodies against these viruses. In most of the newborn calves severe clinical signs (fever, depression, inappetence, hyperventilation, dyspnoea, nasal discharge and coughing) due to M. bovis infection developed. The clinical signs appeared already on the fifth day of life, and their incidence was the highest at the age of 10 to 15 days. Three calves (8.6%) died as a result of severe serofibrinous pneumonia. The surviving calves showed very poor weight gain (ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 kg) during the first two weeks of life.

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Increasing use of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) live vaccines has led to a need for the differentiation of MG strains. The MG strains MK-7, MS-16, S6, FS-9 and R strains and the MG live vaccine strain F were compared by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) in this study. Using RAPD, different patterns were found among the MG strains. In addition to this, we examined the differentiating potential of polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) primers targeted at the crmA, crmB, crmC, gapA, mgc2 and pvpA genes encoding cytadherence-related surface proteins. These proteins may take part in the pathogenesis of MG-induced disease. Differentiation of strain F is based on the identification of restriction enzyme sites in the PCR amplicons. Using HphI enzyme, crmC PCR amplicons produced different RFLP patterns. Digestion of amplicons of gapA-specific PCR with MboI enzyme also produced distinct patterns. Differences were observed among strains R and F by digestion of mgc2 PCR amplicons with HaeIII and VspI enzymes and digestion of pvpA PCR amplicons with AccI, PvuII and ScrFI endonucleases. This method can be used for the rapid differentiation of vaccine strain from wild strains. Differentiation of MG strains is a great advantage for diagnosticians or practitioners and it is useful for epidemiological studies.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors:
M. Tenk
,
Á. Bálint
,
L. Stipkovits
,
Judit Bíró
, and
L. Dencső

A Mycoplasma bovis species-specific PCR assay has been developed with improvement of a previously described method (Ghadersohi et al., 1997). This test and its semi-nested version (Hayman and Hirst, 2003) did not function at all in our hands. A new reverse primer (Mbr2) was designed using previously published sequence data. For testing specificity, DNA was extracted from the most frequently occurring mycoplasma species and bacteria of bovine origin. The new PCR detected only Mycoplasma bovis. Moreover, no cross-reaction was observed with the genetically closest relative species, M. agalactiae. The target organism could be detected in a dose as low as 150 CFU ml-1 in broth cultures using ethidium-bromide-stained agarose gels.

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The possibilities and economic benefits of controlling mycoplasmal pneumonia of pigs caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae by immunisation with Respisure and by Tiamutin treatment were studied. The experiment was carried out in a herd comprising 1000 sows which was free of PRRS, Aujeszky's disease, swine dysentery and leptospirosis, and the prevalence of mycoplasmal pneumonia was low because the farm had recently been restocked. Groups C1 and C2 served as untreated controls, while Groups R1 and R2 received a prestarter diet containing 100 ppm Tiamutin from the time of weaning. Piglets of Group R1 were vaccinated with Respisure vaccine once on day 69, while those of Group R2 twice, on days 65 and 80. Piglets of Groups ST1 and ST2 were fed 100 ppm Tiamutin in the diet for 7 days at the time of weaning and then at 4 months of age, while pigs of Group ST2 received such treatment also in the 6th month of life. The efficacy of treatment was analysed on the basis of the number of animals that died, were emergency slaughtered or were retarded in growth in the different groups, the body weight of animals at weaning, at 94 and 148 days of age and at the time of slaughter, their daily body weight gain, the lung lesions found in animals slaughtered from the different groups, the costs of medication and vaccination, and the cost-benefit calculations of the results. The mortality and emergency slaughter rate was 2.88% and 4.62% in Groups ST2 and ST1, respectively, 4.23% and 4.62% in Groups R2 and R1, respectively, and 8.39% and 9.44% in the control groups (C2 and C1, respectively). The rate of growth retardation was 0.48% and 2.12% in Groups R1 and R2, respectively, 1.59% and 3.46% in Groups ST1 and ST2, respectively, as compared to 8.03% and 6.55% in the control groups (C1 and C2, respectively). The severity score of lung lesions was 1.82 and 1.46 in Groups R1 and R2, 2.18 and 2.93 in Groups ST1 and ST2, and 3.83 and 4.02 in the control groups C1 and C2, respectively. The mean finishing weight of pigs was 102.4-107.8 kg and 95.2-106.6 kg in the treated groups and 94.5-98.6 kg in the control groups. The classification of pigs according to the EUROP categories showed a shift to the E and U categories in the treated groups. The average feed cost per one kg of liveweight was 77.89-82.64 Forints in the treated groups and 85.66 Forints in the control groups.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors:
L. Stipkovits
,
Á Dán
,
Erika Varga
,
Paula De Santis
,
Rosella Lelly
,
Éva Kaszanyitzky
,
Ildikó Ferenczné Paluska
,
M. Tenk
,
L. Tekes
, and
B. Harrach

At abattoirs and farms, 1248 sera were collected from animals representing 121 farms, and examined by complement fixation test using Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides small colony type (MmmSC) antigen. All sera were negative except seven from four farms, giving ++ reactions in the serum dilution of 1:10. On retesting, these sera and additional 30 sera collected repeatedly in both farms gave negative results. In isolation attempts, 953 lung samples collected from slaughtered cattle at the same abattoirs, and 326 nasal swabs collected from 11 herds proved to be negative for the presence of MmmSC, but M. bovis was isolated frequently. In the small farms 23.95% of the animals had pleurisy and/or pneumonia while in the large herds 34.69% had lesions. DNA extracted from 50 nasal swabs and 430 lung samples was examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using M. mycoides cluster-specific primers. DNA from further 325 lung samples was tested by the more specific M. mycoides subspecies mycoides small colony/large colony/capri specific primers and 196 samples by nested PCR specific for MmmSC. All gave negative results. The detection level of cluster-specific primers and the more specific primers was 33.4 pg of DNA, whereas that of nested PCR was 0.33 pg.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors:
Susan Szathmáry
,
Nandani Rajapakse
,
Ibolya Székely
,
E. Pitlik
,
Judit Bíró
,
Noémi Erdei
, and
L. Stipkovits

The capture of mycoplasmas (M. hominis, M. buccale, M. fermentans, M. bovis, M. synoviae, M. gallisepticum and M. arthritidis) based on lipid structures and adhesion molecules present in the mycoplasmal membrane was tested using different chromatographic resins (ActiClean Etox, ClarEtox, Heparin-Actigel, Sulfated Hiflow and SulfEtox). All of the resins efficiently reduced mycoplasma concentrations in Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) and in Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) by 3-8 logs in a few minutes. This technology could be used for removing mycoplasmas from tissue culture components such as serum, and for concentrating mycoplasmas in vaccine production.

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