If you thought Mycoplasma mastitis was a problem only on big dairies, think again. Since it was first reported in a Connecticut herd in 1961, the disease has been identified on operations of all sizes in every state. Highly contagious, tough to detect and virtually untreatable, Mycoplasma has been implicated in pneumonia, eye infections, arthritis and other disorders that cost U.S. producers an estimated $140 million annually in lost production, culling and death. Because infected cows can remain outwardly normal while continuing to shed intermittently, dairies that aren’t actively screening for Mycoplasma may not know they have a problem until it’s too late.
Is your dairy at risk? No operation is immune, but studies suggest the following factors play a significant role in determining the likelihood of a Mycoplasma mastitis outbreak:
Regardless of herd size, location or management protocols, the best way to reduce your dairy’s risk is through routine early detection with a highly accurate, reliable system designed for quickly detecting difficult-to-culture organisms like Mycoplasma. Ask your veterinarian if the Acu-POLARIS Detection System is right for your operation or contact Acumen Detection for more information.
Cai, Hugh Y. et al. Development of a real-time PCR for detection of Mycoplasma bovis in bovine milk and lung samples. J Vet Diagn Invest 17:537-545 (2005).
USDA: APHIS. Dairy 2014: Milk Quality, Milking Procedures, and Mastitis on U.S. Dairies, United States Department of Agriculture (2016).
USDA APHIS: Mycoplasma in Bulk Tank Milk on U.S. Dairies, United States Department of Agriculture (May 2003).
USDA APHIS: Prevalence of Contagious Mastitis Pathogens on U.S. Dairy Operations, 2007 (October 2008).
Justice-Allen, A. et al. Survival and replication of Mycoplasma species in recycled bedding sand and association with mastitis on dairy farms in Utah. J. Dairy Sci. 93:192-202 (2010).
Wilson, David J. Herd-level prevalence of Mycoplasma spp mastitis and characteristics of infected dairy herds in Utah as determined by a statewide survey. JAVMA, Vol 235, No. 6, September 15, 2009.