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Bovine mycoplasmosis: silent and deadly
  1. R. A. J. Nicholas, PhD, FRCPath
  1. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  1. E-mail for correspondence r.a.j.nicholas{at}

The first international conference on bovine mycoplasmosis, held in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2009, marked an official recognition of the importance of mycoplasmas in bovine respiratory disease, mastitis, arthritis and other disorders. Furthermore, bovine mycoplasmosis has been identified as a major emerging infectious disease by the European Community 7th Framework Programme under the EMIDA ERA-NET, which is funding a three-year study into the development of improved diagnosis and control of bovine mycoplasmosis involving the UK, Germany, Italy and Israel. These developments coincide with the publication of the complete sequence of the Mycoplasma bovis genome, which offers fresh insight into the properties of this tiny wall-less bacterium. With this in mind, it is an appropriate time to review our knowledge of cattle diseases caused by mycoplasmas.

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