Date Published: January 4, 2007
Publisher: BioMed Central
Author(s): Branko Kokotovic, Niels F Friis, Peter Ahrens.
Mycoplasma alkalescens is an arginine-metabolizing mycoplasma, which has been found in association with mastitis and arthritis in cattle. Routine bacteriological examination of 17 bronchoalveolar lavage samples from calves with pneumonia in a single herd in Denmark, identified M. alkalescens in eight samples. The organism was found as a sole bacterilogical findings in five of the samples as well as in combination with Mannheimia haemolytica, Haemophilus somni and Salmonella Dublin. This is the first report of isolation of M. alkalescens in Denmark.
Mycoplasma alkalescens is a bovine mycoplasma species, which was originally isolated from the nasal cavity of cattle in Australia . Like many other mycoplasmas, M. alkalescens is a normal inhabitant of the upper respiratory tract, but it has also been associated with disease. M. alkalescens has mostly been implicated in mastitis in cattle. It has been isolated from bulk tank milk samples, as well as from outbreaks and sporadic cases of clinical mastitis [2-5]. Furthermore, M. alkalescens has been isolated from cases of severe arthritis, and its ability to induce joint lesions has been confirmed under experimental conditions [6,7]. Rosenfeld & Hill  isolated M. alkalescens in pure culture from abomasum and lung of an aborted bovine foetus, while Lamm et al.  found M. alkalescens in association with otitis in calves. Finally, M. alkalescens has occasionally been found in association with disorders of the respiratory tract [10,11].
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
BK carried out bacteriological examination of samples, isolation and cloning of mycoplasmas and drafted the manuscript.