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Mycoplasma species are highly contagious pathogens and their ability to cause intramammary infection is a serious problem on dairy farms (Nicholas and Ayling 2003). Since the cure rate of clinical mastitis caused by Mycoplasma species is very low due to difficulties in antibiotic therapy, Mycoplasma-infected cows on farms must be culled in an emergency to prevent outbreaks of Mycoplasma mastitis (Nicholas and Ayling 2003). Bovine Mycoplasma mastitis was first reported in 1962 (Hale and others 1962). However, little is known about the prevalence of Mycoplasma mastitis on dairy farms in Japan. In this study, the prevalence of Mycoplasma species in bulk tank milk from dairy farms in Japan was investigated.
A total of 1241 commercial dairy farms (n=45 to 1125 cows/farm) were randomly selected for bulk tank milk screening. The samples were collected from April to September 2010. Each bulk tank contained milk from two days of production. Milk samples were aseptically collected into 50 ml tubes. One hundred microlitres …