From Cow
Clinical signs of emaciation in a cow affected by CBPP
Lobar pneumonia in a CBPP-infected cow

Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is a contagious bacterial pneumonia of economic importance in the Middle East, Europa and China.

CBPP is caused by Mycoplasma mycoides sub mycoides small colony variant (MmmSC)[1], and in rare cases, Mycoplasma bovis[2].

Infection occurs via inhalation of infective droplets spread between cattle through coughing, physical contact and via fomites. The incubation period between infection and disease varies from 3 – 8 weeks. Disease is a consequence of septicaemia, where widespread dissemination of the bacteria results in localisation of Mycoplasma spp in renal tissue and, more rarely, placental and fetal tissue. Morbidity of cattle herds approaches 70% in some areas. Mortality may approach 50% in naive herds. Chronic states are observed, resulting in chronic respiratory disease.

Clinical signs

In acute cases, signs include fever, lethargy, anorexia, and dyspnoea. Clinical signs of pneumonia are evident and death ensues, if left untreated, after 1 – 3 weeks. Recovery may take up to one month. Subclinical cases are important carriers for spread of Mycoplasma microorganisms.

On cattle which have died, postmortem reveals pleural effusion, pneumonia and fibrous pleural adhesions.


Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, post-mortem findings in terminal cases, and laboratory testing; including complement fixation, latex agglutination, ELISA and PCR[3]. Nowadays, probe-based real-time PCR techniques are among the most advanced tools for a reliable identification and a sensitive detection of CBPP[4]. Final confirmation is determined by Western blotting[5].

Differential diagnoses must include other causes of pneumonia, including bovine respiratory disease and IBR.


CBPP is a notifiable disease that must be reported to government regulatory authorities.

During outbreaks of CBPP, slaughter and necropsy of infected cattle is recommended. Serological surveillance and abattoir inspections are conducted in high-risk areas[6].

Eradicated of further outbreaks involves quarantine, blood testing, and slaughter. Containment of infection is attained by immunization with a live, attenuated vaccine (eg, T1/44 strain). A number of vaccine types are available but experiments suggest that there are no differences in protection levels between the vaccines[7]. Additionally, vaccines are effective only if herd coverage within a country is high.

Treatment is recommended only in endemic areas because the organisms may not be eliminated, and carriers may develop. Tylosin (10 mg/kg, IM, bid for 6 injections) and danofloxacin 2.5% (2.5 mg/kg, sid for 3 consecutive days) have been reported to be effective.


  1. Amanfu W (2009) Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (lung sickness) in Africa. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 76(1):13-17
  2. Bednarek D et al (2012) Serological survey to determine the occurrence of respiratory Mycoplasma infections in the Polish cattle population. Vet Rec 171(2):45
  3. Churchward CP et al (2012) A simplified PCR method for genotyping Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides small colony: The aetiologic agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia. Vet Microbiol 159(1-2):257-259
  4. Schnee C et al (2011) Assessment of a novel multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of the CBPP agent Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC through experimental infection in cattle. BMC Vet Res 7:47
  5. Sidibé CA et al (2012) Performance evaluation of two serological tests for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) detection in an enzootic area using a Bayesian framework. Trop Anim Health Prod 44(6):1233-1238
  6. Marobela-Raborokgwe C (2011) Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in Botswana: experience with control, eradication, prevention and surveillance. Vet Ital 47(4):397-405
  7. Nkando I et al (2012) Efficacy of two vaccine formulations against contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) in Kenyan indigenous cattle. Res Vet Sci 93(2):568-573