Milkborne outbreak of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides infection in a commercial goat dairy.
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A commercial goat dairy comprised of about 300 lactating does suddenly began to have a problem with polyarthritis in the kids and clinical mastitis in the does. The problem began 3 to 4 weeks following the introduction of 27 lactating does from a herd with a history of mastitis caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subsp mycoides (Mmm). Over 2 kidding seasons (about 12 months), approximately 170 kids and 70 does died or were euthanatized. Affected kids were 2 to 8 weeks old, had multiple warm swollen joints, body temperature of 40.8 to 41.5 C, marked weight loss, and pneumonia. All were lame and some experienced so much discomfort that they were unable to get up. The predominant necropsy finding was severe fibrinopurulent polyarthritis, but fibrinous pleuritis, fibrinous pericarditis, interstitial pneumonia, and bronchopneumonia also were found in some kids. Culturing of affected joints and of bulk tank milk yielded large numbers of Mmm. The outbreak was terminated by feeding heat-treated colostrum (56 C for 1 hr) and pasteurized milk to kids. Milk from the does was cultured repeatedly; by this procedure, the does shedding Mmm in the milk were identified and culled.