Recent developments in vaccines for bovine mycoplasmoses caused by Mycoplasma bovis and Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides

24 May 2021
Dudek K, Szacawa E and Nicholas RAJ

Two of the most important diseases of cattle are caused by mycoplasmas. Mycoplasma bovis is a world-wide bovine pathogen that can cause pneumonia, mastitis and arthritis. It has now spread to most, if not all, cattle-rearing countries. Due to its increasing resistance to antimicrobial therapy, vaccination is the principal focus of the control of infection, but effective vaccines are currently lacking. Despite being eradicated from most parts of the world, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides, the cause of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), continues to plague sub-Saharan Africa, affecting at least 25 countries. Numerous new experimental vaccines have been developed over the last 20 years to improve on protection afforded by the T1/44, a live vaccine in continuous use in Africa for over 60 years, but none so far have succeeded; indeed, many have exacerbated the disease. Tools for diagnosis and control are adequate for eradication but what is necessary are resources to improve vaccine coverage to levels last seen in the 1970s, when CBPP was restricted to a few countries in Africa. This paper summarizes the results of the main studies in the field of experimental mycoplasma vaccines, reviews data on commercially available bacterin vaccines and addresses issues relating to the search for new candidates for effective vaccines to reduce economic losses in the cattle industry caused by these two mycoplasmas.