Gap analysis of Mycoplasma bovis disease, diagnosis and control: an aid to identify future development requirements.
There is a worldwide problem of disease caused by Mycoplasma (M.) bovis in cattle; it has a significant detrimental economic and animal welfare impact on cattle rearing. Infection can manifest as a plethora of clinical signs including mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis, keratoconjunctivitis, otitis media and genital disorders that may result in infertility and abortion. Current diagnosis and control information are reviewed and analysed to identify gaps in knowledge of the causative organism in respect of the disease pathology, diagnosis and control methods. The main considerations are as follows: no vaccines are commercially available; antimicrobial resistance is increasing; diagnostic and antimicrobial sensitivity testing needs to be improved; and a pen-side test would facilitate more rapid diagnosis and implementation of treatment with antimicrobials. More data on host susceptibility, stress factors, immune response and infectious dose levels are required. The impact of asymptomatic carriers, M. bovis survival in the environment and the role of wildlife in transmitting the disease also needs investigation. To facilitate development of vaccines, further analysis of more M. bovis genomes, its pathogenic mechanisms, including variable surface proteins, is required, along with reproducible disease models.