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Cattle Reproduction
Laboratory diagnosis of Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma abortion in cattle
  1. Phil Watson1,
  2. Colin Mason1,
  3. Heather Stevenson1,
  4. Sandra Scholes2,
  5. Alex Schock2,
  6. Rebecca Mearns3,
  7. Roger Ayling4 and
  8. Robin Nicholas4
  1. Disease Surveillance Centre – Dumfries, SAC Veterinary Services, St Mary's Industrial Estate, Dumfries DG1 1DX
  2. AHVLA – Lasswade, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
  3. AHVLA – Penrith, Merrythought, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9RR
  4. AHVLA – Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  1. e-mail: philip.watson{at}

Statistics from

WE would like to report the findings from six cases of suspected Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma-associated abortion. The cases occurred between April 2009 and July 2011; five cases were diagnosed at AHVLA – Penrith and one at SAC Dumfries. From analysis of VIDA (Veterinary Investigation Surveillance Report) data, these are the only diagnoses in England, Wales and Scotland of Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma abortion during this period. The purpose of this letter is to raise awareness of Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma-associated abortion and the range of samples required to facilitate its laboratory diagnosis by the AHVLA and the SAC.

The laboratory diagnosis of bovine abortion has a diagnostic rate of approximately 50 per cent. The range and quality of the samples submitted has a significant effect on the testing protocol. Commonly, the lack of an adequate placental sample prevents any assessment of the presence or absence of placentitis and the demonstration of agents such as Chlamydophila species or Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), which require placental smears.

Sometimes a full range of abortion samples is submitted and the laboratory diagnostician is frustrated by the demonstration of placentitis, but with no causative …

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