OBJECTIVE To develop and validate a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for the detection and quantification of Mycoplasma ovis in goats and investigate the prevalence and risk factors for hemoplasma infection of goats located in Indiana.
ANIMALS 362 adult female goats on 61 farms.
PROCEDURES Primers were designed for amplification of a fragment of the dnaK gene of M ovis by use of a qPCR assay. Blood samples were collected into EDTA-containing tubes for use in total DNA extraction, blood film evaluation, and determination of PCV. Limit of detection, intra-assay variability, interassay variability, and specificity of the assay were determined.
RESULTS Reaction efficiency of the qPCR assay was 94.45% (R2, 0.99; slope, −3.4623), and the assay consistently detected as few as 10 copies of plasmid/reaction. Prevalence of infection in goats on the basis of results for the qPCR assay was 18.0% (95% confidence interval, 14% to 22%), with infected goats ranging from 1 to 14 years old, whereby 61% (95% confidence interval, 47% to 73%) of the farms had at least 1 infected goat. Bacterial load in goats infected with M ovis ranged from 1.05 × 103 target copies/mL of blood to 1.85 × 105 target copies/mL of blood; however, no bacteria were observed on blood films. Production use of a goat was the only risk factor significantly associated with hemoplasma infection.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The qPCR assay was more sensitive for detecting hemoplasma infection than was evaluation of a blood film, and production use of a goat was a risk factor for infection.