Next Article in Journal
Comparison of the Clinico-Microbiological Characteristics of Culture-Positive and Culture-Negative Septic Pulmonary Embolism: A 10-Year Retrospective Study
Next Article in Special Issue
Seasonal Variation in Prevalence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Other Respiratory Pathogens in Peri-Weaned, Post-Weaned, and Fattening Pigs with Clinical Signs of Respiratory Diseases in Belgian and Dutch Pig Herds, Using a Tracheobronchial Swab Sampling Technique, and Their Associations with Local Weather Conditions
Previous Article in Journal
Anogenital-Associated Papillomaviruses in Animals: Focusing on Bos taurus Papillomaviruses
Previous Article in Special Issue
Efficacy of Two Antibiotic-Extender Combinations on Mycoplasma bovis in Bovine Semen Production
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Mycoplasma bovis Infections: Occurrence, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Control, Including Prevention and Therapy

Department of Cattle and Sheep Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute, 57 Partyzantów Avenue, 24100 Pulawy, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(12), 994;
Submission received: 23 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) is an etiological agent of bronchopneumonia, mastitis, arthritis, otitis, keratoconjunctivitis, meningitis, endocarditis and other disorders in cattle. It is known to spread worldwide, including countries for a long time considered free of the infection. This editorial summarizes the data described in the Special Issue entitled “Mycoplasma bovis Infections: Occurrence, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Control, Including Prevention and Therapy” consisting of eight research articles and a review. The research articles discuss the most important issues related to Mycoplasma bovis infections, including the lung local immunity in M. bovis pneumonia, antimicrobial susceptibility and antimicrobial resistance-associated genes of M. bovis isolates, M. bovis antibody testing, efficacy of seminal extender on M. bovis as well as imported bull examination for M. bovis, whereas the latest data were summarized in the review.
The review of this Issue summarized the latest data on Mycoplasma bovis infections, introducing the problem, taking into account the issues related to spread of M. bovis around the world, the disease therapy and immunoprophylaxis of the infections. It discussed the current epizootic situation of M. bovis, including the studies from the countries for a long time considered free of M. bovis, such as Finland, New Zealand or Australia. The review listed the most important courses of M. bovis infection and their sources including colostrum, milk, air-borne, intrauterine and newly noticed semen. An important part of the review was also devoted to the description of currently used methods in the diagnosis of M. bovis, especially in terms of the specimen used. The review also addressed the issue of methods of the disease eradication and collected the most important recommendations in order to unify the rules of preventing M. bovis infections in the designed control programs [1].
The research article by Dudek et al. [2] described the leukocyte response in M. bovis pneumonia using the calf infection model. In the experimentally infected calves, the lung immune response manifested in both the T- and B-lymphocyte stimulation. The local immunity was also characterized by the increased phagocyte expression and upregulation of antigen-presenting mechanisms dependent on the MHC class II. On the other hand, the activation of peripheral antimicrobial mechanisms was manifested in the general stimulation of phagocytic activity and oxygen metabolism of leukocytes, however it depended on the stage of the disease.
The work of Petersen et al. [3] aimed to compare two commercially available ELISAs for M. bovis antibody detection in adult cows from 12 dairy herds with a known previous M. bovis infection status. With the use of the newly commercially released ELISA, more positive serum and milk samples were diagnosed compared to the second of the tested tests, which proved its higher sensitivity. Additional analysis of the concordance correlation coefficient of sample-to-positive percentage showed high comparability between the serum and milk samples for this test; however, with the higher serum values. These results indicate that the milk samples are a good matrix for M. bovis antibody testing in this test as the serum samples and can be used as a replacer. As a result of this study, the suitability of the newly commercially released ELISA for the evaluation of subclinically infected animals and bull tank milk samples as well as for herd-level control was proposed. However, the specificity of this test was questioned, which may be related to cross-reactions presence. In the authors’ opinion, the second of the tested tests seems to be useful primarily for detection of clinically ill animals.
The research article by Catania et al. [4] discussed the role of newly imported bulls in spreading of bovine mycoplasmas in fattening farms, including M. bovis. In 19.1% of total of 711 nasal swabs three times collected (on arrival, at 15 and 60 days after arrival), M. bovis was isolated as poor or mixed cultures with other species of the Mollicutes class. The results showed a clear dependence of M. bovis prevalence on the sampling time. On arrival, the majority of bulls tested were free of M. bovis. Significantly increased M. bovis prevalence was observed 15 days after arrival which ranged between 40 and 81% dependent on the method used, whereas general its decrease was noted 45 days after. Here, there was also no predictive role of environmental conditions in M. bovis prevalence in the imported bulls.
The study of Pohjanvirta et al. [5] drew attention to the real risk of M. bovis transmission via artificial insemination in the context of the poor mycoplasmacidal efficacy of antibiotics used in the semen extender. The efficacy of the combinations of antibiotics added to the semen extender used in this study was dependent on the M. bovis concentration in spiked semen samples and differed in the case of the two tested bacterial strains, ATCC and wild type. Additionally, from all three tested DNA extraction methods, the one with the highest sensitivity for detection of either of the M. bovis strains in the pools spiked with low concentration of the pathogen was selected. To prevent the transmission of M. bovis via the contaminated semen, the authors suggested using a higher than recommended combination of antibiotics added to the semen extender, or which would be the best solution to test bulls intended for artificial insemination for M. bovis and use semen free of the pathogen.
Ledger et al. [6] covered the topic in the field of increasing resistance of M. bovis isolates for antimicrobials that was reported in many countries. This article describes the antimicrobial resistance-associated genes in M. bovis isolate from 2019 that had high minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for fluorochinolones, tetracyclines, macrolides, lincosamides and pleuromutulins. With the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) more non-synonymous mutations and gene disruptions were identified in the recently received M. bovis isolate when compared with the past isolate and reference strain PG45. The researchers selected 55 genes for the potential function of antimicrobial resistance. It gives the possibility to further analyze this candidate AMR genes and compare it with another research in the future.
The main aim of the work of Kinnear et al. [7] was to assess the relationship between the genotypes and phenotypes of M. bovis isolates in the evaluation of antimicrobial resistance to macrolides, used both in the prevention and treatment of M. bovis infections in feedlot cattle. In this cross-sectional twelve-year study a total of 126 M. bovis isolates were tested. The samples originated from feedlot cattle of different health status and were collected from multiple anatomical locations. The MIC values for five selected macrolides were estimated following the antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Additionally, the genotype of all isolates based on the number and positions of single nucleotide polymorphisms (mutations) in the 23S rRNA gene alleles and ribosomal proteins was determined. The efficacy of the examined macrolides was depended on the type of mutations determined for each M. bovis isolate, with exception of tildipirosin and tilmicosin, which, according to the authors, seem to be unsuitable for M. bovis infection treatment in cattle.
The two-year study of Becker et al. [8] concerned longitudinal monitoring of M. bovis infections in 25 feedlots. It revealed that the low M. bovis prevalence was observed in calves at their arrival in the feedlot, whereas the high prevalence was seen 4 weeks after the antimicrobial treatment. This at indicates the ineffective antimicrobial treatment of the infected calves due to antibiotic resistance of M. bovis strains. The important finding was that these strains were resistant to antibiotics prior to any treatments of the calves and it led to the clinical recovery of animals without M. bovis clearance. This research supports the previous finding about the overall multiresistance of M. bovis isolates to the most of the tested antimicrobials except for fluoroquinolones and that the most strains belonged to little variable subtype ST2, based on the single-locus sequence analysis of polC gene.
García-Galán et al. [9] described the research on M. bovis isolated from beef and dairy cattle. According to the study, this pathogen was present in 40.9% of examined beef cattle and in 16.36% of dairy cattle. The MIC testing and WGS results showed that the most isolates were resistant to many antimicrobials (macrolides, lincosamides and tetracyclines). The genome sequencing also revealed that the M. bovis isolates belonged to only two STs (ST2 and ST3). The research revealed that the most isolates that belonged to ST3 had high MIC values for fluoroquinolones and the ST2 isolates had lower MIC values for this group of antimicrobials. The researchers also showed that the main differences between the ST2 and ST3 were located in the quinolone-resistance determining regions of GyrA and ParC genes. The mutations in these genes were found only in the M. bovis isolates belonged to ST3. In vitro testing revealed that only valnemulin was effective against the M. bovis isolates from both STs.
The articles included in this Special Issue present the most up-to-date data on M. bovis infections, including the disease pathogenesis and therapy, and contribute significantly to improving knowledge in this field.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, K.D.; Writing—Original draft preparation, K.D., E.S.; Writing—Review and Editing, K.D., E.S. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.


We would like to thank all the authors of the nine papers published in this Special Issue.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Dudek, K.; Nicholas, R.A.J.; Szacawa, E.; Bednarek, D. Mycoplasma bovis Infections—Occurrence, Diagnosis and Control. Pathogens 2020, 9, 640. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. Dudek, K.; Bednarek, D.; Lisiecka, U.; Kycko, A.; Reichert, M.; Kostro, K.; Winiarczyk, S. Analysis of the Leukocyte Response in Calves Suffered from Mycoplasma bovis Pneumonia. Pathogens 2020, 9, 407. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. Petersen, M.B.; Pedersen, L.; Pedersen, L.M.; Nielsen, L.R. Field Experience of Antibody Testing against Mycoplasma bovis in Adult Cows in Commercial Danish Dairy Cattle Herds. Pathogens 2020, 9, 637. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. Catania, S.; Gastaldelli, M.; Schiavon, E.; Matucci, A.; Tondo, A.; Merenda, M.; Nicholas, R.A.J. Infection Dynamics of Mycoplasma bovis and Other Respiratory Mycoplasmas in Newly Imported Bulls on Italian Fattening Farms. Pathogens 2020, 9, 537. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. Pohjanvirta, T.; Vähänikkilä, N.; Simonen, H.; Pelkonen, S.; Autio, T. Efficacy of Two Antibiotic-Extender Combinations on Mycoplasma bovis in Bovine Semen Production. Pathogens 2020, 9, 808. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Ledger, L.; Eidt, J.; Cai, H.Y. Identification of Antimicrobial Resistance-Associated Genes through Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycoplasma bovis Isolates with Different Antimicrobial Resistances. Pathogens 2020, 9, 588. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. Kinnear, A.; McAllister, T.A.; Zaheer, R.; Waldner, M.; Ruzzini, A.C.; Andrés-Lasheras, S.; Parker, S.; Hill, J.E.; Jelinski, M.D. Investigation of Macrolide Resistance Genotypes in Mycoplasma bovis Isolates from Canadian Feedlot Cattle. Pathogens 2020, 9, 622. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. Becker, C.A.; Ambroset, C.; Huleux, A.; Vialatte, A.; Colin, A.; Tricot, A.; Arcangioli, M.-A.; Tardy, F. Monitoring Mycoplasma bovis Diversity and Antimicrobial Susceptibility in Calf Feedlots Undergoing a Respiratory Disease Outbreak. Pathogens 2020, 9, 593. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. García-Galán, A.; Nouvel, L.-X.; Baranowski, E.; Gómez-Martín, Á.; Sánchez, A.; Citti, C.; de la Fe, C. Mycoplasma bovis in Spanish Cattle Herds: Two Groups of Multiresistant Isolates Predominate, with One Remaining Susceptible to Fluoroquinolones. Pathogens 2020, 9, 545. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Dudek, K.; Szacawa, E. Mycoplasma bovis Infections: Occurrence, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Control, Including Prevention and Therapy. Pathogens 2020, 9, 994.

AMA Style

Dudek K, Szacawa E. Mycoplasma bovis Infections: Occurrence, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Control, Including Prevention and Therapy. Pathogens. 2020; 9(12):994.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dudek, Katarzyna, and Ewelina Szacawa. 2020. "Mycoplasma bovis Infections: Occurrence, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Control, Including Prevention and Therapy" Pathogens 9, no. 12: 994.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop