September 2020

New Small Ruminant Test

By Dr. Maggie Highland

Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae testing is now available at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL).

This newly developed and validated assay is a duplex PCR that specifically detects and differentiates the presence of both M. ovipneumoniae and a second respiratory-associated mycoplasma bacterium that has been referred to as “Mycoplasma conjunctivae-like” bacterium or “Mc-l”.

Although it remains unknown whether or not “Mc-l” plays any role in disease (currently considered “non-pathogenic”), this bacterium has previously caused false positive M. ovipneumoniae test results when using test methods published prior to 2017. Therefore, specifically differentiating and identifying the presence of these two mycoplasmas (M. ovipneumoniae and “Mc-l”) in nasal swabs or lung tissue specimens is relevant.

This new test was made possible by anatomic pathologist Dr. Maggie Highland’s interest and knowledge concerning small ruminant diseases and through assay development by Drs. Jianfa Bai and Lance Noll in the Molecular Research and Development Laboratory in the KSVDL.

For any questions concerning this or any other small ruminant test, please contact Dr. Highland at or 785-532-4460.