atypical non-progressive proliferative pneumonia
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- atypical non-progressive proliferative pneumonia
International Common Names
- English: atypical pneumonia of sheep; Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae infection; mycoplasma pneumonia of sheep and goats; nonprogressive (atypical) pneumonia of sheep; nonprogressive pneumonia of sheep
Local Common Names
- Australia: chronic proliferating interstitial pneumonia; summer pneumonia
- New Zealand: chronic enzootic pneumonia; hogget pneumonia; subclinical pneumonia
- UK/Scotland: chronic pneumonia; proliferating exudative pneumonia
- USA: small pneumonic lesions in healthy lambs
Pathogen/sTop of page
OverviewTop of page
Atypical non-progressive proliferative pneumonia of sheep (ANPPPS) is a chronic, generally non-fatal disease of the lungs, mainly anterior lobes, of sheep; pleurisy is seen in some cases. Usually, young animals (1 to 6 months old) are affected, but stress conditions and overcrowding can additionally cause older animals to suffer the disease. Generally, sheep recover from the disease, but lesions may persist for at least 7 months, and growth retardation may occur in more severe cases. The most frequently implicated agent is Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, but most evidence indicates that the development of ANPPPS requires the additional involvement of bacteria, probably as secondary opportunistic pathogens. The most frequently inovolved bacteria are Mannheimia haemolytica and, in some countries, Mannheimia multocida. Other agents which have been found in lung samples from ANPPPS cases, but for which the roles are even less certain, are parainfluenza virus type 3, Mycoplasma arginini and Chlamydia spp. (possibly both Chlamydophila abortus and Chlamydophila psittaci); a possible role for Bordetella parapertussis has also been described. (For further information on Mannheimia haemolytica infections in general, see the 'Mannheimia haemolytica infections' datasheet).
A mycoplasma likely to be M. ovipneumoniae was first isolated by Mackay et al. (1963), but was defined by Carmichael et al. (1972). A mycoplasma that could be transmitted intrabronchially to lambs that subsequently showed atypical pneumonia was demonstrated by St. George et al. (1971). Its primary role in the production of disease was confirmed when viruses such as parainfluenza 3 were excluded as causative agents (Sullivan et al., 1973a; 1973b).
M. ovipneumoniae is closely related to M. hyopneumoniae and M. conjunctivae according to sequence of their 16S rRNA genes (Pettersson et al., 1996; 2001).
Host AnimalsTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
M. ovipneumoniae is the most commonly isolated mycoplasma from the respiratory tract of both sheep and goats (Sullivan et al., 1973a; Jones et al., 1979; Cottew and Yeats, 1981; Golz et al., 1986). It has been isolated from Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in Canada (Black et al., 1988; Zarnke and Rosendal, 1989).
Systems AffectedTop of page
DistributionTop of page
M. ovipneumoniae is probably present in sheep world-wide (Davies 1985), but the prevalences are not well known anywhere. It was reported from goats in Oman, but its role in caprine pneumonia is not clear (Jones and Wood, 1988).
It has been reported in Ethiopia and Chad (Perreau, 1973), Sudan (Mohamed Ali Harbi, 1977), Nigeria (Mohan and Uzoukwu, 1985), Senegal (Konte and Bréard, 1987), Northern Cameroon (Martrenchar et al., 1995), Kenya (Litamoi et al., 1990, Ndarathi and Mbuthia, 1994), Zimbabwe (Mohan et al., 1992), Iran (Sasani et al., 1998), Turkey (Haziroglu et al., 1994), USA (McGowan et al., 1957), Canada (Black et al., 1988), Great Britain (Leach et al., 1976), Scotland (Jones et al., 1976), Iceland (Friis et al., 1976), Spain (Livingston and Gauer, 1979), Switzerland (Nicolet et al., 1979), New Zealand (Manktelow, 1984), and Australia (St. George et al., 1971).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Switzerland||Present||Original citation: Nicolet et al. (1979)|
|United Kingdom||Present, Widespread|
PathologyTop of page
Gross pathology usually involves the apical and cardiac lobes of lungs. These show demarcated reddish-brown and grey depressed areas which are consolidated, firm and inelastic on section. Pleurisy may also be present (Gilmour et al., 1982; Jones and Gilmour, 1991).
Histologically, the changes in the lung include hyperplasia of the lymphoid nodules and bronchila epithelium and a mononuclear cell reaction in the alveolar septa; also perivascular and bronchiolar lymphocytic cuffs, sometimes leading to compression, collapsed alveoli and alveoli filled with exudate containing mononuclear cells. Pseudoepithelialization of alveoli and nodular scars in or beside bronchial walls have also been described (Gilmour et al., 1982; Jones and Gilmour, 1991).
DiagnosisTop of page
Atypical pneumonia is suspected on clinical grounds of chronic, persistent, irregular soft coughing (progressing over weeks or months) and a mucopurulent nasal discharge. Some lambs may appear dull and show increased respiratory rates; dry rales, particularly in inspiration may also be present. There may be a progression of disease to most lambs and growth rates may be reduced.
Growth, Isolation and Identification
M. ovipneumoniae requires specialised media for its culture and identification. Mycoplasma media are commercially available from Mycoplasma Experience (Reigate, UK). M. ovipneumoniae does not produce colonies with centres as is typical of other mycoplasmas (George et al., 1971). Viability is lost quickly in culture and it requires passing into fresh medium daily. It is not inhibited by digitonin, requires serum or cholesterol for growth, ferments glucose, does not hydrolyse arginine, does not have phosphatase activity, and reduces tetrazolium aerobically but not anaerobically (Barile et al., 1972).
The growth inhibition (GI) test and epifluorescence tests with specific antiserum are probably the most popular tests for the identification of M. ovipneumoniae (Bradbury 1998; Poveda and Nicholas, 1998). An immuno-peroxidase technique for detection of the organism in lung tissues is available (Haziroglu et al., 1996). Detection and identification may also be possible with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test based on the 16S rRNA genes.
Mannheimia haemolytica can be cultured on 7% sheep blood agar plates and in nutrient broth.
Serology is not routinely used for diagnosis but ELISA tests performed on experimentally infected lambs showed that antibodies were produced 41 weeks after infection and lasted for at least 16 days (Thirkell et al., 1990a). Significant cross-reactivity between M. ovipneumoniae and M. bovoculi, M. dispar, M. flocculare, M. hyopneumoniae and M. hyorhinis was demonstrated (Thirkell et al., 1991). An ELISA that used crude capsular extracts of M. ovipneumoniae for antigen specifically detected antibodies in animals of varying stages of disease (Niang et al., 1999).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed||Sheep & Goats|All Stages||Sign|
|General Signs / Fever, pyrexia, hyperthermia||Sign|
|General Signs / Lack of growth or weight gain, retarded, stunted growth||Sheep & Goats|Lamb||Sign|
|General Signs / Weight loss||Sheep & Goats|All Stages||Sign|
|Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless||Sheep & Goats|All Stages||Sign|
|Respiratory Signs / Coughing, coughs||Sheep & Goats|Lamb||Sign|
|Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping||Sheep & Goats|Lamb||Sign|
|Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea||Sheep & Goats|Lamb||Sign|
|Respiratory Signs / Mucoid nasal discharge, serous, watery||Sheep & Goats|All Stages||Sign|
|Respiratory Signs / Purulent nasal discharge||Sheep & Goats|All Stages||Sign|
Disease CourseTop of page
Atypical pneumonia classically affects sheep between 2 and 12 months old, but may occur in lambs as young as 2-3 weeks old and in adult ewes. It is a proliferative exudative pneumonia in which all or part of the anterior lobes of the lungs become consolidated. Pleurisy may or may not be present. It may affect over 40% of the lambs in the flock, but the signs of chronic coughing may be overlooked. From 80-90% carriage of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae has been reported in some flocks (Jones et al., 1976; Ionas et al., 1985). The disease is chronic, non-progressive, often subclinical and infrequently fatal. Lesions have been shown to persist for at least 7 months, though probably reach maximum extent within 2-3 months of onset of disease (Gilmour et al., 1982).
EpidemiologyTop of page
M. ovipneumoniae is frequent in the upper respiratory tract of sheep. Outbreaks of atypical pneumonia most commonly occur in lambs and young sheep subjected to close housing and herding practices, especially when animals from different sources are brought together.
Impact: EconomicTop of page
The economic impact of atypical pneumonia caused by M. ovipneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica has not been evaluated, because of the complex nature of the disease and the involvement of other organisms, but it was shown to depress growth rate, feed intake and carcass composition in sheep (Jones et al., 1982c).
Zoonoses and Food SafetyTop of page
Atypical pneumonia involving M. ovipneumoniae is not a zoonotic disease.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
The occurrence and morbidity of atypical pneumonia due to M. ovipneumoniae appears to be dependent on the type of animal husbandry practiced in flocks. Improved ventilation, lower stocking densities, reduced contact of lambs with older sheep, and reduction of shared airspace reduce the possibilities of cross infection. Newly purchased sheep should be housed separately for some time before mixing with the home flock. No vaccines are described. According to Jones et al. (1986), vaccines against Mannheimia (formerly Pasteurella) haemolytica had been shown to be ineffective. Oxytetracycline or a macrolide antibiotic may be administered to definitively ill lambs. Tetracycline and high dosages of ronidazole were found to be most effective, and to produce specific bacteriological sterility, by Alley and Clarke (1980).
ReferencesTop of page
Alley MR, Clarke JK, 1980. The effect of chemotheraputic agents on the transmission of ovine non-progressive pneumonia. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 28:77-80.
Alley MR, Ionas G, Clarke JK, 1999. Chronic non-progressive pneumonia of sheep in New Zealand - a review of the role of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 47(5):155-160; 48 ref.
Barile MF, Del Giudice RA, Tully JG, 1972. Isolation and characterization of Mycoplasma conjunctivae sp. n. from sheep and goats with keratoconjunctivitis. Infection and Immunity, 5:70-76.
Black SR, Barker IK, Mehren KG, Crawshaw GJ, Rosendal S, Ruhnke L, Thorsen J, Carman PS, 1988. An epizootic of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae infection in captive Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli). Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 24(4):627-635; 29 ref.
Bradbury J, 1998. Identification of mycoplasmas by immunofluorescence. In: Miles R, Nicholas R, eds. Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 104. Mycoplasma Protocols. Totowa, New Jersey, USA: Humana Press, 119-125.
Carmichael LE et al., 1972. Isolation, propagation and charaterisation studies of an ovine mycoplasma responsible for proliferative interstitial pneumonia. Cornell Veterinarian, 62:654-679.
Clarke JK, Ionas G, Alley MR, 1992. Mixed infection with one species of microorganism. Veterinary Record, 130(1):20; 7 ref.
Cottew GS, Yeats FR, 1981. Occurrence of mycoplasmas in clinically normal goats. Australian Veterinary Journal, 57:52-53.
Davies GH, Jones BAH, Thurley DC, 1981. Infection of specific-pathogen-free lambs with parainfluenza virus type 3, Pasteurella haemolytica and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Vetreinary Microbiology, 6:295-308.
Friis NF, Palsson PA, Petursson G, 1976. Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae demonstrated in Icelandic sheep. Acta Vet Scand., 1:255-257.
Gilmour JS, Jones GE, Keir WA, Rae AG, 1982. Long-term pathological and microbiological progress in sheep of experimental disease resembling atypical pneumonia. J Comp Path, 92:229-238.
Gilmour JS, Jones GE, Rae AG, Quirie M, 1986. Comparison of single strains of four serotypes of Pasteurella haemolytica biotype A in experimental pneumonia of sheep. Research in Veterinary Science, 40(1):136-137; 13 ref.
Goltz JP, Rosendal S, McCraw BM, Ruhnke HL, 1986. Experimental studies on the pathogenicity of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and Mycoplasma arginini for the respiratory tract of goats. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 50(1):59-67; [3 fig.]; 42 ref.
Haziroglu R, Diker KS, Turkarslan J, Gulbahar MY, 1996. Detection of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and Pasteurella haemolytica antigens by an immunoperoxidase technique in pneumonic ovine lungs. Veterinary Pathology, 33(1):74-76; 9 ref.
Ionas G, Mew AJ, Alley MR, Clarke JK, Robinson AJ, Marshall RB, 1985. Colonisation of the respiratory tract of lambs by strains of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Veterinary Microbiology, 10(6):533-539; 7 ref.
Jones GE, Buxton D, Harker DB, 1979. Respiratory infections in housed sheep, with particular reference to mycoplasmas. Veterinary Microbiology, 4:47-59.
Jones GE, Donachie W, Gilmour JS, Rae AG, 1986. Attempt to prevent the effects of experimental chronic pneumonia in sheep by vaccination against Pasteurella haemolytica. British Veterinary Journal, 142(2):189-194; 13 ref.
Jones GE, Field AC, Gilmour JS, Rae AG, Nettleton PF, McLauchlan M, 1982. Effects of experimental chronic pneumonia on bodyweight, feed intake and carcase composition of lambs. Veterinary Record, 110:168-173.
Jones GE, Foggie A, Mould DL, Livitt S, 1976. The comparison and characterisation of glycolytic mycoplasmas isolated from the respiratory tract of sheep. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 9:39-52.
Jones GE, Gilmour JS, 1991. Non-progressive (atypical) pneumonia. Diseases of sheep., 150-157; 19 ref.
Jones GE, Gilmour JS, Rae AG, 1982. The effect of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and Pasteurella haemolytica on specific pathogen-free lambs. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 92:261-266.
Jones GE, Gilmour JS, Rae AG, 1982. The effects of different strains of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae on specific pathogen-free and conventionally-reared lambs. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 92:267-272.
Jones GE, Gilmour JS, Rae AG, McLauchlan M, Nettleton PF, 1986. A review of experiments on the reproduction of chronic pneumonia in sheep by the use of pneumonic lung homogenate suspensions. Veterinary Bulletin, 56(4):251-263; 37 ref.
Leach RH, Cottew GS, Andrews BE, Powell DG, 1976. Atypical mycoplasmas from sheep in Great Britain and Australia identified as Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Veterinary Record, 98:377-379.
Lefèvre PC, Bréard A, 1985. Reproduction experimentale d'infection pulmonaires à divers mycoplasmaes: In: Etiologie des Pneumopathies des Petit Ruminants en Afrique Intertropicale. [Experimental reproduction of pulmonary infections with different species of mycoplasmas. In: Eitiology of pulmonary Troubles of Small Ruminants in Intertropical Africa.] Centre de Coopération en Recherche Agronomique pour le Dévelopment-Départment d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons-Alfort, France, 21-25.
Livingston CW Jr, Gauer BB, 1979. Isolation of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae from Spanish and Angora goats. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 40:407-408.
Mackay JMK, Nisbet DI, Foggie A, 1963. Isolation of pleuropneumonia like organism (genus Mycoplasma) from cases of sheep pulmonary adenomatosis. Veterinary Record, 75:550-551.
Manktelow BW, 1984. The veterinary handbook. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Foundation for Continuing Education, New Zealand Veterinary Association, Massey University, 269pp.
Martrenchar A, Bouchel D, Zoyem N, 1995. Isolation and experimental studies of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in goats in northern Cameroon. Small Ruminant Research, 16(2):179-184; 25 ref.
McGowan B, Moulton JE, Shultz G, 1957. Pneumonia in California lambs. Journal of the American Veterinary Association, 131:318-323.
Mew AJ, Ionas G, Clarke JK, Robinson AJ, Marshall RB, 1985. Comparison of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae isolates using bacterial restriction endonuclease DNA analysis and SDS-PAGE. Veterinary Microbiology, 10(6):541-548; 13 ref.
Mohamed Ali Harbi MS, 1977. Isolation and identification of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae from Sudanese goats. Bull. of Animal Health and Production Africa, 25:97-102.
Ndarathi CM, Mbuthia PG, 1994. Ovine bronchopneumonia caused by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 64(3):256-258; 9 ref.
Niang M, Rosenbusch RF, Andrews JJ, Lopez-Virella J, Kaeberle ML, 1998. Occurrence of autoantibodies to cilia in lambs with a 'coughing syndrome'. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 64(3):191-205; 23 ref.
Niang M, Rosenbusch RF, DeBey MC, Niyo Y, Andrews JJ, Kaeberle ML, 1998. Field isolates of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae exhibit distinct cytopathic effects in ovine tracheal organ cultures. Journal of Veterinary Medicine. Series A, 45(1):29-40; 26 ref.
Niang M, Rosenbusch RF, Lopez-Virella J, Kaeberle ML, 1999. Differential serologic response to Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and Mycoplasma arginini in lambs affected with chronic respiratory disease. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 11(1):34-40; 17 ref.
Niang M, Rosenbusch RF, Lopez-Virella K, Kaeberle ML, 1997. Expression of functions by normal sheep alveolar macrophages and their alteration by interaction with Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Veterinary Microbiology, 58(1):31-43; 31 ref.
Nicolet J et al., 1979. [Involvement of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in enzootic proliferating interstitial pneumonia in sheep] Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd., 121:341-53.
Perreau P, 1973. Mycoplasms de le chèvre apparentés à l'espèce Mycoplasma dispar, Goat mycoplasmas related to Mycoplasma dispar species). Reveue Medicin Veterinaire Pays Tropicaux, 26:13-25.
Pettersson B, Tully JG, Bölske G, Johansson K-E, 2001. Re-evaluation of the classical Mycoplasma lipophilum cluster (Weisburg et al., 1989) and description of two new clusters in the hominis group based on 16S rDNA sequences. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 51:633-643.
Pettersson B, Uhlén M, Johansson KE, 1996. Phylogeny of some mycoplasmas from ruminants based on 16S rRNA sequences and definition of a new cluster within the hominis Group. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 46(4):1093-1098; 24 ref.
Poveda JB, Nicholas RAJ, 1998. Serological identification by growth and metabolism inhibition tests. In: Miles RJ, Nicholas RAJ, eds. Mycoplasma Protocols. Totowa, USA: Humana Press, 105-112.
Sasani F, Avaspoor J, Afshar K, Iranmanesh K, 1998. Ovine pneumonia: pathological and microbiological correlation. Indian Journal of Veterinary Pathology, 22(2):156-158; 9 ref.
Spooner RK, Thirkell D, Jones GE, 1990. Strain specific and cross reactive determinants of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae.. Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Supplement 20:647-654; [Proceedings of the 7th Congress of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, Baden near Vienna, 1988.]; 6 ref.
St George TD, Carmichael LE, 1975. Isolation of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae from sheep with chronic pneumonia. Veterinary Record, 97:205-206.
St George TD, Sullivan ND, Love JA, Horsfall N, 1971. Experimental transmission of pneumonia in sheep with a mycoplasma isolated from pneumonic sheep lung. Australian Veterinary Journal, 47:282-283.
Sullivan ND, StGeorge TD, Horsfall N, 1973. A proliferative interstitial pneumonia of sheep associated with mycoplasma infection: 1. Natural history of the disease in a flock. 2. The experimental exposure of young lambs to infection. Australian Veterinary Journal, 49(No.2):57-62, 63-68.
Thirkell D, Spooner RK, Jones GE, Russell WC, 1990. Polypeptide and antigenic variability among strains of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae demonstrated by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Veterinary Microbiology, 21(3):241-254; 28 ref.
Thirkell D, Spooner RK, Jones GE, Russell WC, Voice MW, 1991. Cross-reacting antigens between Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and other species of mycoplasma of animal origin, shown by ELISA and immunoblotting with reference antisera. Veterinary Microbiology, 26(3):249-261; 25 ref.
Black S R, Barker I K, Mehren K G, Crawshaw G J, Rosendal S, Ruhnke L, Thorsen J, Carman P S, 1988. An epizootic of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae infection in captive Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli). Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 24 (4), 627-635.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Manktelow BW, 1984. The veterinary handbook., Palmerston North, New Zealand: Foundation for Continuing Education, New Zealand Veterinary Association, Massey University. 269 pp.
Martrenchar A, Bouchel D, Zoyem N, 1995. Isolation and experimental studies of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in goats in northern Cameroon. Small Ruminant Research. 16 (2), 179-184. DOI:10.1016/0921-4488(95)00621-Q
McGowan B, Moulton JE, Shultz G, 1957. Pneumonia in California lambs. In: Journal of the American Veterinary Association, 131 318-323.
Mohamed Ali Harbi MS, 1977. Isolation and identification of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae from Sudanese goats. In: Bull. of Animal Health and Production Africa, 25 97-102.
Perreau P, 1973. Goat mycoplasmas related to Mycoplasma dispar species. (Mycoplasms de le chèvre apparentés à l'espèce Mycoplasma dispar). In: Reveue Medicin Veterinaire Pays Tropicaux, 26 13-25.
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