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Sheep and goats
Investigation of severe coughing and ill thrift in adult hill sheep associated with Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae
  1. Robin A J Nicholas1,
  2. Roger D Ayling2,
  3. Ruben Santana Rosales2 and
  4. Christopher Myerscough3
  1. 1Consultant, Farnham, Surrey, UK
  2. 2Department of Bacteriology, APHA, Addlestone, UK
  3. 3Myerscough Veterinary Group, Clitheroe, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roger Ayling, Roger.Ayling{at}


Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae has long been associated with respiratory disease in young sheep and goats. Here, the authors present evidence that it may be a cause of a coughing syndrome and ill thrift in young and, unusually, older Swaledale ewes on a hill farm in northern England. M. ovipneumoniae was detected in nasal swabs of a majority of affected lambs and ewes, many of which were also seropositive. Postmortem examination of a severely affected seropositive ewe revealed gross and histopathological lesions suggestive of mycoplasma infection, from which M. ovipneumoniae was isolated as well as secondary bacterial pathogens.

  • Atypical pneumonia
  • mycoplasma
  • Sheep
  • coughing
  • ill thrift
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