Diagnostic testing needed for M. bovis
Testing is carried out to identify Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) infected herds.
M. bovis is difficult to diagnose in an individual animal. Clinical signs are not seen in all infected animals, so diagnostic testing is necessary to identify infected animals and groups of animals.
The tests used within the M. bovis Eradication Programme identify infected groups of cattle. To detect low levels of infection, we test many animals, often multiple times.
What tests do we use?
There are 2 tests we use to detect M. bovis:
- ELISA test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test
- PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) test.
The number and groups of cattle that have samples collected varies from property to property, depending on several factors, such as the:
- number of cattle on the property
- way in which cattle are organised into groups (management groups and group sizes)
- age of the cattle
- presence of stock classes of interest (such as beef breeding, breeding bulls and dairy replacements)
- way the property was identified as being at risk of M. bovis infection.
Tests determine when a property has had M. bovis
A Confirmed Property is a property that is determined by the programme's epidemiologists to have met the definition for having M. bovis:
- has returned a positive PCR result, or
- serology levels (through ELISA testing) indicate that the disease is, or was, present, or
- has had repeated marginal serology results combined with other risk factors, indicating the disease is present, and that depopulation is the only responsible decision to achieve eradication.
Testing is carried out to identify M. bovis infected herds. The tests used within the programme identify infected groups of cattle. To ensure the testing is accurate, we test many animals, multiple times.