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      Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides biotype large colony isolates from healthy and diseased goats: prevalence and typing.

      Veterinary Microbiology

      microbiology, Prevalence, veterinary, DNA Fingerprinting, methods, DNA Transposable Elements, genetics, epidemiology, DNA, Bacterial, chemistry, Disease Outbreaks, Ear Canal, Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field, Female, France, Goat Diseases, Goats, Milk, Mycoplasma mycoides, classification, isolation & purification, Pleuropneumonia, Contagious, Animals, Carrier State

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          Most severe goat mycoplasmosis outbreaks in France are caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides biotype LC (MmmLC). However, MmmLC can also be recovered from ear canals of healthy goats or from bulk milk collected in herds showing no clinical signs of mycoplasmosis. To improve our understanding of how MmmLC strains are balanced between pathogenic ones and asymptomatically carried ones, descriptive epidemiological data were analysed, together with the genomic fingerprints of isolates generated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PGFE analyses were performed with isolates collected from the ear canals of goats or bulk milk in healthy herds, from individual clinical cases in different diseased herds at different times, and within a single herd during a severe outbreak, from various body sites including the ear canals at autopsy. Results showed that each isolate collected in healthy herds yielded a unique and characteristic PFGE profile. Isolates from diseased herds had profiles that were distinct for each outbreak and the group of 41 isolates from a single severe outbreak had 2 predominant PFGE profiles that persisted throughout the outbreak. These data suggest that while several distinct isolates are carried by healthy animals, only a few are responsible for the clinical signs observed within one herd during an outbreak. Whether this reflects differences in virulence between different field strains of MmmLC remains to be demonstrated.

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