Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma infections cause a wide range of clinical conditions, particularly among pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. Certain mycoplasmas are part of normal mucosal flora, and can outgrow pathogenic mycoplasmas in broth culture procedures. In general, special media is required for growth of mycoplasmas. Some mycoplasmas are slow growing, taking up to three weeks to appear in primary culture or in subcultures.

Mycoplasma (birds)

Description

Avian mycoplasmosis is a cause of respiratory disease in chickens, turkeys, quail, game birds, pigeons and other avian species; many different Mycoplasma species are potentially involved, but particularly M.gallisepticum in chickens and M.meleagridis in turkeys. Mycoplasma synoviae can cause respiratory signs as well as tenosynovitis. Mycoplasma infection damages the lining of the upper respiratory tract and thereby predisposes birds to deeper respiratory disease involving the lungs and airsacs by secondary pathogens. Strains vary greatly in their pathogenicity.

Mycoplasmas can be spread vertically in the egg, as well as horizontally by respiratory fomites. The commercial boiler chicken industry is free from mycoplasmosis, as is much of the commercial turkey industry. Vaccination with live attenuated strains of mycoplasma, to replacement layer pullets going onto multi-age layer farms is commonly practiced: vaccinated birds become carriers of the vaccine strain. There are several non-pathogenic avian mycoplasmas such as M.gallinarum and M.gallinaceum which may be isolated from cases of upper respiratory tract disease but have no causal aetiological significance.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, management history and mycoplasma culture; further identification and species characterisation requires 16S-ribosomal PCR.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

16sRNA sequencing

Culture

Monday - Friday

Up to 7 days

Culture for mycoplasma sp. (direct)

Fresh tissue or swab

Monday – Friday

Up to 10 days

Culture for mycoplasma sp. (indirect)

Fresh tissue or swab

Monday – Friday

5-6 weeks

Histopathology examination

Tissue (Fixed)

Monday –Friday

Up to 5 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Fresh tissue

  • Fresh tissues of affected heads to allow sampling of infra-orbital sinuses, conjunctiva and choana
  • Fresh trachea, lung, joint and tendon sheaths
    • Submit chilled
    • Do not freeze

Fixed tissue

  • Fixed tissues from affected birds (heads, trachea, lungs, air sacs, joints and tendons)
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a ratio of 10:1 formalin: tissue

Swabs

  • Nasal, choanal, joint swabs
    • Submit chilled in Amie’s bacterial transport media

Mycoplasma (pigs)

Also known as Porcine enzootic pneumonia

Description

Mycoplasmal pneumonia is a common chronic disease particularly in grower finisher pigs, and increases susceptibility of pigs to secondary infection, most commonly Pasteurella multocida, but also Arcanobacter pyogenes, Haemophilus sp, Streptococcus sp, Staphylococcus sp, Klebsiella sp, and Bordetella bronchiseptica. M. hyosynoviae also causes synovitis and arthritis.

M. hyorhinis is a common inhabitant of the URT and ears (Eustachian tube), and is a common co-inhabitant of pneumonic lungs. It has no pneumonic potential and can rapidly overgrow M. hyopneumoniae cultures. It can cause a serofibrinous polyserositis, or fibrinous arthritis in suckers or weaners less than 10 weeks old.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, management history and mycoplasma culture and PCR.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Culture for mycoplasma sp. (direct)

Fresh tissue or swab

Monday to Friday

1-3 weeks

Histopathology examination

Fixed tissue

Monday to Friday

Up to 5 days

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Antibody ELISA2

Serum (red top) or plasma (green top)

Thursday and Friday

Up to 7 days

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae PCR2

Culture

Monday to Friday

3 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements

Blood (with anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood (including at least 2ml of plasma) collected into a lithium heparin treated tube
    • Submit chilled

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood (including at least 2ml of serum) collected into a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Fixed tissues from affected pigs (lung, joints and tendons)
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a ratio of 10:1 formalin: tissue

Fresh tissue

  • Fresh tissues (lung, joints, joint membrane)
    • Submit chilled
    • Do not freeze

Swab

  • Nasal swabs
    • Submit chilled in Amie's bacterial transport media

Mycoplasma (cattle, sheep, goats)

Description

Mycoplasma spp bovine Group 7 is a frequent cause of polyarthritis in calves. It can also cause outbreaks of bovine mastitis and abortion. This organism is readily cultured, and is occasionally cultivable on blood agar cultures without special mycoplasmal media. Other Mycoplasma spp are associated with bovine mastitis, eye lesions, reproductive lesions, and caprine and ovine arthritis, mastitis and pneumonia.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, management history and mycoplasma culture and PCR.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

16sRNA sequencing

Culture

Monday - Friday

Up to 7 days

Culture for mycoplasma sp. (direct)

Fresh tissue or swab

Monday – Friday

1-3 weeks

Histopathology examination

Fixed tissue

Monday –Friday

Up to 5 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Fixed tissue

  • Fixed tissues from affected pigs (lung, joints and tendons)
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a ratio of 10:1 formalin: tissue

Fresh tissue

  • Fresh tissues (lung, joints, joint membrane, joint fluid, ocular fluid, milk)
    • Submit chilled
    • Do not freeze

Swab

  • Nasal swabs
    • Submit chilled in Amie's bacterial transport media