In dairy industries around the globe, ‘cattle’ are often affected by infectious agents. One such organism is a bacteria known as ‘Mycoplasm Bovis’.It’s unique feature being, an ability to affect only cows, and no other animal on the dairy farm. Now, since cattle forms such an integral part of the dairy business, it is essential to understand the effects that this bacteria species have on them. So, here is ‘Mmilk’ presenting a few vital facts that you need to know about this organism belonging to the genus ‘Mycoplasm’, with regards to its effect on cows.

a. What is ‘Mycoplasm Bovis’, and how does it affect cattle ?

Considered to be the ‘smallest living cell’ in the world, is a bacteria known as ‘Mycoplasm Bovis’. It belongs to the ‘Mycoplasm’ genus, and is resistant to penicillin and other β-lactam antibiotics. Furthermore, with regards to cows, it causes serious diseases such as mastitis, arthritis, and pneumonia in adults as well as in calves.

b. How does ‘Mycoplasm Bovis’ transmission/spread occur?

‘Close contact’ is one of the major way through which ‘Mycoplasm Bovis’ transmission/spread occurs among cattle. In addition, untreated infected milk can also serve as a source via which this bacteria can be transmitted. Organs of the cow such as the ‘udder’ can also can act as a ‘reservoir’, while transmitting and spreading this organism among the cattle.

c. What are the Mycoplasma Bovis symptoms?

The Mycoplasma Bovis symptoms observed in cattles caused by infection are as follows:

  1. Mastitis: Occurs mainly due to the inflammation of the udder tissue. It is considered to be the ‘most costly disease’ in the dairy industry. It is in this condition that the quality of milk falls drastically due to increased somatic cell count in cows.
  2. Pneumonia: Occurs mainly due to inflammation of the lungs. It is under this condition that the cow experiences pain in the lung and airways. Mild coughing can also be observed.
  3. Arthritis: It is characterized by difficulty of movement in cattle due to swelling in the joints.

d. What does Mycoplasma Bovis treatment entail? :

‘Antibiotic therapy’ is what is used as the Mycoplasma Bovis treatment strategy, in response to infection arising in cattle. A few commonly used antibiotics include tetracyclines, and macrolides (erythromycin). Furthermore, officially approved drugs which can be used include, Draxxin (Tulathromycin), Florfenicol, and Batril. In terms of therapy duration, the cattle needs to undergo a minimum of 10-14 days of treatment. In addition, vaccination such as Pulmo-GuardMpB, Mycomune Mycoplasma Bovis bacterin, and Myco-BacTM B against infection caused by the bacteria (Mycoplasma Bovis) are also available.

e. Mycoplasma Bovis in humans, does it have any effect?

Mycoplasma Bovis in humans, although rare, can cause tuberculosis (TB). In fact, according to a 2012 statistic,’About 2% of the total number of TB cases in the United States of America are caused by Mycoplasma Bovis’. In addition, the transmission of this bacteria from cattle to humans was once very common in America. However, over the years this phenomenon has gradually decreased.

Here is hoping that the information about Mycoplasma Bovis that we at “Mmilk’ have provided for you through this article, answers all the essential facts that you need to know about this bacteria.

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