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Outbreak of pneumonia and arthritis in beef calves associated with Mycoplasma bovis and Mycoplasma californicum
  1. M. Hewicker-Trautwein, BVSc, DrMedVet,DrMedVetHabil, DiplECVP1,
  2. M. Feldmann, BVSc, DrMedVet2,
  3. W. Kehler, BVSc,DrMedVet3,
  4. R. Schmidt, MTA4,
  5. S. Thiede, BVSc, DrMedVet4,
  6. F. Seeliger, BVSc, DrMedVet1,
  7. P. Wohlsein, BVSc,DrMedVet, DiplECVP1,
  8. H. J. Ball, BSc, MSc, PhD,FRCPath5,
  9. I. Buchenau, BVSc1,
  10. J. Spergser, BVSc,DrMedVet6 and
  11. R. Rosengarten, BVSc,MSc, DrRerNat,DrMedVetHabil6
  1. 1 Institute of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Buenteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany
  2. 2 Clinic for Gynaecology and Obstetrics
  3. 3 Clinic for Cattle Diseases
  4. 4 Institute of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hannover, Germany
  5. 5 Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Veterinary Sciences Division, Stoney Road, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3SD
  6. 6 Institute of Bacteriology, Mycology and Hygiene, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinärplatz 1, A- 1210 Vienna, Austria


During an outbreak of pneumonia and arthritis in beef calves and young cattle on a large farm in north-west Germany, Mycoplasma bovis and Mycoplasma californicum were isolated from tracheobronchial lavage fluids and synovial fluids. The microbiological findings in dead and living animals and the immunohistochemical demonstration of M californicum antigen in lung and arthritic joint tissue, indicated that under poor housing conditions and possibly other predisposing factors, this mycoplasma, like M bovis, can colonise the respiratory tract and may be able to cross the respiratory mucosal barrier to spread through an infected animal and cause systemic infections that may contribute to severe arthritis.

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