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Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia

 Aetiology  Epidemiology  Diagnosis  Prevention and control  References 


Classification of the causative agent

Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC (bovine biotype)

Mycoplasmas are microorganisms deprived of cell walls and are, therefore, a) pleomorphic and b) resistant to antibiotics of the beta-lactamine group, such as penicillin

Growth of the mycoplasma is relatively fastidious and requires special media rich in cholesterol (addition of serum).

There is only one antigenic type

Resistance in the environment and to chemicals

Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (SC) is not resistant in the environment and transmission requires close contact

Temperature:  In saline solution -  susceptible to 45°C/120 min and/or 47°C/2 min
In lymph -  susceptible to 45°C/240 min and/or 60°C/2 min
It is:  Inactivated by acid and alkaline pH
Susceptible  to ether, mercuric chloride (0.01%), calcium hydroxide, phenol (1%/3 min), and formaldehyde solution (0.5%/30 seconds)
Survival:  Survives well in frozen tissues



Cattle (Bos taurus), zebu (Bos indicus) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Wild bovids and camels are resistant


Virulent material

Lungs, pleuropneumonia lymph and possibly brain, liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, uterus, fetus and fetal membranes, and urine


CBPP is widespread in Africa and it is also present in other regions of the world, including southern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. In Africa, its economic importance is particularly high in Sahelian and Sahelo-Sudanese countries

For detailed information on occurrence, see recent issues of World Animal Health and the OIE Bulletin


Incubation period is 1-3 months (sometimes longer)

During an outbreak of natural disease, only 33% of animals present symptoms (hyperacute or acute forms), 46% are infected but have no symptoms (subclinical forms) and 21% seem to be resistant

Clinical diagnosis

In adults

In calves


Differential diagnosis

Acute form

Chronic form

Laboratory diagnosis


Identification of the agent

Serological tests

  • Complement fixation (prescribed test in the Manual). This test should be used only at herd level and never for individual diagnosis
  • Competitive ELISA (under validation by International Atomic Energy Agency and several reference laboratories), and haemagglutination
  • Agglutination test can be used as penside test in active outbreaks at the herd level



No efficient treatment. Antibiotic treatment should be prohibited

Sanitary prophylaxis

Medical prophylaxis


Recommended Standards for Epidemiological Surveillance for Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia were drawn up by an OIE Ad hoc Group on 7-9 June 1993. After revision, these standards were approved by the International Committee during the 63rd General Session


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Updated: 30/08/2000

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