Mycoplasma bovis herd diagnostics and epidemiological knowledge to prevent infections in Swedish cattle
Mycoplasma bovis is considered anemerging bacterial pathogen that causes severe disease in cattle, e.g.mastitis, pneumonia, polyarthritis and otitis media. Infections are oftenchronic and poorly responsive to treatment, compromising animal welfare.Antibiotic treatments can increase dramatically in infected herds, increasingthe selection for antimicrobial resistance. The prevalence in Swedish cattleherds is lower than in many other European countries, but preliminary datasuggest that it is increasing. The overall aim of the project is to obtainknowledge on epidemiology and efficient diagnostic methods to preventtransmission of M bovis to uninfected cattle herds.
Inthis project we will investigate the prevalence of M bovis infection andthe regional distribution over time. Diagnostic methods and sampling strategyfor identification of infected vs. free herds will be evaluated. Duration ofinfection and antibody responses in individual animals will be explored, alongwith effects on health and risk factors for infection related to management. Wewill use whole genome sequencing of isolates to study transmission routesbetween herds and regions. Sequences will also be explored for mutationsindicating antimicrobial resistance. Correct identification of infected animalswill aid in early recognition of M bovis infection by farmers andveterinarians. The project will also increase the awareness among farmers andadvisors of the importance of good biosecurity measures.