Respiratory disease and otitis were seen on a northern Italian farm in weaned bulls obtained from multiple sources. Mycoplasma bovis was consistently identified in nasal swabs, tonsil, ears, eyes and lung samples from affected animals. Unusually the closely related Mycoplasma agalactiae, the main cause of contagious agalactia (CA) in small ruminants, was also isolated. It was identified by molecular methods in bulls but only from eye, ear and brain samples. Outbreaks were reduced by retaining the bulls on their original farms for weaning, then moving them directly to the fattening areas on the farm. This prevented the spread of mycoplasma from infected to uninfected calves from different sources. As no small ruminants were within close proximity and the area is free of CA, it is possible that M agalactiae may be more prevalent in cattle than previously thought.
- Otitis media
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