Detection of Ureaplasma diversum in the upper airways of Australian feedlot cattle.

Rebecca Barnewall, Ian Marsh, Paul Cusack, Francesca Galea, Narelle Sales, Jane Quinn

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Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) exerts a major impact on the beef cattle industry nationally and worldwide, with a range of aetiological factors impacting its pathogenesis. Previous research has focussed on an increasing number of bacteria and viruses that have been shown to play a role in eliciting disease. Recently, additional agents have been emerging as potential contributors to BRD, including the opportunistic pathogen Ureaplasma diversum. To determine if U. diversum was present in Australian feedlot cattle and if that presence was linked to BRD, nasal swabs were collected from a cohort of 34 hospital pen animals and compared to 216 apparently healthy animals sampled contemporaneously at feedlot induction and again after 14 days on feed at an Australian feedlot. All samples were subjected to a de novo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting U. diversum in combination with other BRD agents. U. diversum was detected at a low prevalence in cattle at induction (Day 0: 6.9%, Day 14: 9.7%), but in a significantly greater proportion of cattle sampled from the hospital pen (58.8%). When considering the presence of other BRD-associated agents, co-detection of U. diversum and Mycoplasma bovis was most common in hospital pen animals receiving treatment for BRD. These findings suggest that U. diversum may be an opportunistic pathogen involved in the aetiology of BRD in Australian feedlot cattle, in combination with other agents, with further studies are warranted to identify if a causal relationship exists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 03 Apr 2023

Grant Number

  • P.PSH.0873
  • B.STU.2001


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