Caprine mycoplasmosis: widespread infection in goats with Mycoplasma myoides subsp. mycoides (large-colony type).
Goats with a history of mastitis, polyarthritis, and pneumonia showed a high incidence of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides (large-colony type). During the early winter kidding season of 1979-1980, kid morbidity in a large commercial dairy herd (hyperthermia, polyarthritis and pneumonia) exceeded 90%, and over 200 kids died. Colostral cultures of the does yielded 157 isolations from 605 goats (26%). Additional isolations were made from goats with polyarthritis, peritonitis, CNS disorders, and pneumonia; these animals represented 6 California counties, and the states of Arizona and Idaho. Identification was by growth inhibition and immunofluorescence. Titres in the colostrum, although variable, were as high as 1 X 1010 viable organisms/ml and remained almost unchanged after storage at 5 deg C for 4 or more weeks. Experimental inoculation of the organism into normal goats 1 week to 2 years old killed most animals between 4-14 days after inoculation, whether the organism was administered intraperitoneally, i/m, into the teat canal, or orally to young animals. The primary lesions were a fibrinopurulent polyarthritis, fibrinous pleuritis, and pneumonia. It appears that goats can acquire the infection through ingestion, and the organism seems to be widespread in the USA.