Mycoplasma bovis and other Mycoplasma species have been present in the Australian dairy cow population for many years with increasing impact on a small number of farms since 2005. Larger, expanding herds appear more likely to have Mycoplasma bovis outbreaks. Therefore, given the increase in average herd size on Australian dairy farms, it is likely that more Australian dairy herds will become infected and have clinical outbreaks.
Dairy Australia funded a significant study completed by the University of Sydney in 2018. This has led to a greater understanding of the clinical presentation and management of the disease. While there are only a relatively small number of herds nationally that have been diagnosed with Mycoplasma-related disease, there are variable estimates of the true prevalence of the disease (clinical and sub-clinical).
Further research is required to more accurately understand the level of Mycoplasma on Australian dairy farms and generate greater knowledge about the use and interpretation of methods used to diagnose Mycoplasma on dairy farms.
Mycoplasma species can cause a range of disease states in cattle, including mastitis, lameness and pneumonia, while in calves these species can cause pneumonia, lameness, head tilt and conjunctivitis.
There are number of Countdown resources specific to Mycoplasma in dairy herds.
Mycoplasma prevention in dairy herds FactsheetPDF, 667.34 KB
Mycoplasma prevention in dairy herds FAQ TechnotePDF, 104.74 KB
Technote 21 Managing introductions to your herdPDF, 128.38 KB