Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia
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Caused by: Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum
Also known as: CCPP
Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) is a cause of major economic losses to goat producers in Africa and Asia.
This condition is caused by members of the Mycoplasma genus, usually Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum but occasionally also M. mycoides subsp. capri or M. mycoides subsp. mycoides. Both are members of the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster.
CCPP is characterized primarily by its contagious nature. The disease causes interstitial fibrinous pleuropneumonia, interlobular oedema and hepatization of the lung causing high mortality rates of up to 80% and morbidity rates of up to 100%.
The most important distinguishing features of CCPP, with respect to the other goat respiratory mycoplasmoses, were defined by Hutcheon and are quoted as follows:
1) The disease is readily contagious to all susceptible goats;
2) Sheep and cattle are not affected by disease;
3) Local oedematous reactions do not occur in goats when infective innoculum is given subcutaneously (Hutcheon, 1889).
CCPP has been detected in at least 30 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia.
In natural infections, transmission of the disease is by aerosol.
The environment also plays an important role in the appearance, evolution and severity of CCPP. Due to the high sensitivity of mycoplasmas to the external environment, close contact is essential between infected and naive animals for transmission to take place, and overcrowding and confinement thus favours their circulation. Stress factors such as malnutrition and long transport can also predispose animals to disease. In Africa where extensive and traditional husbandry is practised, pathogens spread when animals meet at watering points and grazing areas.
CCPP affects only goats, of any breed, sex or age worldwide. Younger animals tend to suffer more severe clinical signs than adults.
This specificity for both host and tissue is a striking feature of CCPP.
The animal may appear generally depressed, dull, weak and lethargic. The animal will then be pyrexic and have signs of weight loss of reduced weight gain.
If the animal is in milk then milk yield will be severely reduced. Sometimes the disease may manifest as sudden death only.
Respiratory signs include bilateral nasal discharge, dyspnoea, tachypnoea and coughing. Some goats may appear to be in severe respiratory distress.
The gross pathological lesions are localized exclusively to lung and pleura and are often unilateral. Affected lungs can be totally hepatized, and have a port wine colour. A lung section shows a fine granular texture with various colours, but usually without any thickening of the interlobular septa.
Abundant pleural exudate and pleuritis are common. The pleural exudates may have solidified forming a gelatinous covering.
In acute cases, the pleural cavity contains an excess of straw-coloured fluid with fibrin flocculations . In chronic cases there is a black discolouration of the lung tissue and sequestration of necrotic lung areas.
Adhesions between the lung and the pleura are very common and often very thick 
Histological examination of the lung tissues may show acute serofibrinous to chronic fibrino-necrotic pleuropneumonia with neutrophilic inflammation in the alveoli, bronchioles, interstitial septae and subpleural connective tissue. Intralobular oedema is prominent and local lymphoid hyperplasia common.
High mortality and typical early thoracic lesions in goats are highly indicative of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae infection, but are not diagnostic.
M.capricolum can be identified by growth inhibition disc tests (GI). This is the simplest and most specific test, but the least sensitive of the tests available. It depends on the direct inhibition of mycoplasma growth on solid media by specific hyperimmune serum, and detects primary surface antigens.
An in the field diagnostic procedure is the latex agglutination test (LAT) which detects antibodies. The sensitised latex beads are stable at 4°C, room temperature and 37°C for over one year. Thus the long shelf-life of the beads at different temperatures makes it possible to prepare large amounts which can be stored until used. The latex agglutination test is an excellent procedure for the diagnosis of CCPP and can be run in two minutes on samples of whole blood or serum, requires no sophisticated equipment or storage facilities and is adaptable to any laboratory or field conditions.
Definite diagnosis is made by the isolation of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae from clinical samples, usually lung tissue and may be a long and difficult process. The success of isolation depends primarily on the attention that is given to sample collection.
The direct and indirect fluorescent antibody tests are among the most effective, simple and rapid serological methods of identification for most Mycoplasma species. Several forms have been described, the most commonly used one is the indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test which is applied to unfixed colonies on agar.
Diagnostic systems based on PCR have been developed for the rapid detection, identification and differentiation of members of the M. mycoides cluster and the specific identification of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae 
The diagnosis of outbreaks of CCPP is often complicated by other infectious agents causing similar syndromes including other mycoplasmas and Pasteurella haemolytica.
Treatment and Control
The macrolides (erythromycin, spiramysin, and tylosin), tetracyclines and quinolones are active against M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae.
Control measures include prevention of mixing and good hygiene. Movement restrictions and slaughtering infected animals are recommended for countries that are newly infected.
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- Dighero, M. W., Bradstreet, P. C. M., Andrews, B. E (1970) Dried paper discs for serological identification of human mycoplasmas. J Applied Bacteriology, 33:750-757
- Rurangirwa, F. R., McGuire, T. C., Kibor, A., Chema, S (1987) A latex agglutination test for field diagnosis of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia. Veterinary Record, 121(9):191-193; 11
- Rosendal, S., Black, F. T (1972) Direct and indirect immunofluorescence of unfixed and fixed mycoplasma colonies. Acta Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica, 80:615-622.
- Bashiruddin, J. B., Taylor, T. K., Gould, A. R (1994) A PCR-based test for the specific identification of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides SC. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 6(4):428-434; 14
- Hotzel, H., Sachse, K., Pfützner, H (1996) A PCR scheme for differentiation of organisms belonging to the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster. Veterinary Microbiology, 49(1/2):31-43; 21
Bashiruddin, J. B., Taylor, T. K., Gould, A. R (1994) A PCR-based test for the specific identification of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides SC. J Vet Diagnostic Investigation, 6(4):428-434; 14.
Bashiruddin, J. B., Windsor, G. D (1998) Coloured colonies of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC and Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae on solid agar media for the presumptive diagnosis of CBPP and CCPP. In:Proceedings of the ARC-Onderstepoort OIE International congress with WHO-cosponsorship on Anthrax, Brucellosis, CBPP, Clostridial and Mycobacterial diseases. 9-15, Kruger National Park, South Africa, 226-229.
Belton, D., Leach, R. H., Mitchelmore, D. L., Rurangirwa, F. R (1994) Serological specificity of a monoclonal antibody to Mycoplasma capricolum strain F38, the agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia. Veterinary Record, 134(25):643-646; 21.
Dighero, M. W., Bradstreet, P. C. M., Andrews, B. E (1970) Dried paper discs for serological identification of human mycoplasmas. J Applied Bacteriology, 33:750-757.
Hotzel, H., Sachse, K., Pfützner, H (1996) A PCR scheme for differentiation of organisms belonging to the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster. Vet Microbiology, 49(1/2):31-43; 21.
Hutcheon, D (1889) Contagious pleuro-pneumonia in goats at Cape Colony, South Africa. Veterinary Journal, 29:399-404.
Kaliner, G., MacOwan, K. J (1976) The pathology of experimental and natural contagious caprine pleuropneumonia in Kenya. Zentrablat Veterinary Medicine B, 23:652-661.
Kibor, A. C (1990) Methods for the laboratory diagnosis of cantagious carprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). In: Alton GG, Carter GR, Kibor AC, Pesti L, eds. Veterinary Diagnostic Microbiology. A manual of laboratory procedures for selected diseases of livestock. Rome, Italy: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, 169-200.
MacOwan, K. J (1976) A mycoplasma from chronic caprine pleuropneumonia in Kenya. Tropical Animal Health Production, 8:28-36.
MacOwan, K. J., Minette, J. E (1976) A mycoplasma from acute contagious caprine pleuropneumonia in Kenya. Tropical Animal Health Production, 8:91-95.
Msami, H. M., Kapaga, A. M., Bölske, G (1998) Occurance of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia in Tanzania.' Tanzania Veterinary Journal, 18:285- 297.
Rurangirwa, F. R., McGuire, T. C., Kibor, A., Chema, S (1987) A latex agglutination test for field diagnosis of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia. Veterinary Record, 121(9):191-193; 11.
Rurangirwa, F. R., McGuire, T. C., Magnuson, N. S., Kibor, A., Chema, S(1987) Composition of a polysaccharide from mycoplasma (F-38) recognised by antibodies from goats with contagious pleuropneumonia. Research in Veterinary Science, 42(2):175-178; 16
Thiaucourt, F., Bölske, G., Leneguersh, B., Smith, D., Wesonga, H (1996) Diagnosis and control of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia. Revue Scientifique et Technique - Office International des épizooties, 15(4):1415-1429; 35.
Wesonga, H. O., Litamoi, J. K., Kagumba, M., Wakhusama, E (1993) Relationship between clinical signs and early lesions of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia caused by Mycoplasma strain F38. Small Ruminant Research, 10(1):45-54; 15
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