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J Hyg (Lond). 1980 October; 85(2): 247–256.
PMCID: PMC2133930

Further studies on caprine and ovine mycoplasmas related to Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides


Nine caprine and ovine mycoplasma strains, said to be indistinguishable serologically from Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (the causative organism of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia; CBPP) were examined in mice by (1) a mycoplasmaemia test, and (2) a cross-protection test. Of the nine strains, two from goats belonged to a small colony (SC) type; four caprine and three ovine strains belonged to a large colony (LC) type.

The two SC strains — like a single SC strain examined in an earlier study — were indistinguishable from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides as isolated from CBPP. They produced mycoplasmaemia readily. In a cross-protection test, the two SC strains and a CBPP strain immunized completely against each other.

Of the seven LC strains, six — like six LC strains examined in an earlier study — were easily distinguished from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides; except for one that was not tested, all were shown to lack the ability to produce mycoplasmaemia readily. In cross-protection tests all six strains immunized partially but not completely against a CBPP strain.

The seventh LC strain (Mankefår 2833) was exceptional: it produced mycoplasmaemia readily, resembling the SC strains in this respect. Like other LC strains, in cross-protection tests it protected only partially against a CBPP strain. Strain Mankefår 2833 was isolated in ca. 1965 by Brack from a Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) in a German zoo.

The ability of Mankefår 2833 to produce mycoplasmaemia enabled it to be used as a challenge strain in cross-protection tests. For the purpose of such tests the collection of nine mycoplasma strains referred to above was augmented with six LC strains from an earlier study. Partial but not complete protection against Mankefår 2833 was produced by two caprine SC strains, one CBPP strain, and nine LC strains. Three further LC strains gave protection that may have been as strong as that produced by the homologous strain, but confirmatory experiments are needed. A strain of M. mycoides subsp. capri gave no protection against Mankefår 2833.

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Selected References

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  • Cottew GS, Watson WA, Erdag O, Arisoy F. Mycoplasmas of caprine pleuropneumonia in turkey and their relationship to other mycoplasmas of goats and M. mycoides var. mycoides. J Comp Pathol. 1969 Oct;79(4):541–551. [PubMed]
  • Cottew GS, Yeats FR. Subdivision of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides from cattle and goats into two types. Aust Vet J. 1978 Jun;54(6):293–296. [PubMed]
  • Erno H, Freundt EA, Krogsgaard-Jensen A, Rosendal S. The identification of an organism isolated from maned sheep as Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides. Acta Vet Scand. 1972;13(2):263–265. [PubMed]
  • Hooker JM, Smith GR, Milligan RA. Differentiation of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides from certain closely related caprine mycoplasmas by mycoplasmaemia and cross-protection tests in mice. J Hyg (Lond) 1979 Jun;82(3):407–418. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • MacOwan KJ. A Mycoplasma from chronic caprine pleuropneumonia in Kenya. Trop Anim Health Prod. 1976 Feb;8(1):28–36. [PubMed]
  • Rodwell AW, Rodwell ES. Relationships between strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subspp. mycoides and capri studied by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of cell proteins. J Gen Microbiol. 1978 Dec;109(2):259–263. [PubMed]
  • Smith GR. Experimental infection of mice with Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri. J Comp Pathol. 1967 Jan;77(1):21–27. [PubMed]
  • Smith GR. Effect of route of vaccination on the immune response of mice to a single dose of heat-killed Mycoplasma mycoides var. mycoides. J Comp Pathol. 1969 Apr;79(2):255–260. [PubMed]
  • Smith GR. A study of Mycoplasma mycoides var. mycoides and Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri by cross-protection tests in mice. J Comp Pathol. 1969 Apr;79(2):261–265. [PubMed]
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