Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
KALSHINGI, Habu A.; BOSMAN, Anna-Mari; GOUWS, Johan and VAN VUUREN, Moritz. Molecular characterisation of Mycoplasma species isolated from the genital tract of Dorper sheep in South Africa. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2015, vol.86, n.1, pp. 01-11. ISSN 2224-9435. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/JSAVA.V86I1.1199.
Biochemical and molecular analysis were conducted on 34 strains of Mycoplasma species isolated between 2003 and 2009 from the genital tract of clinically healthy Dorper sheep and sheep with ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis. Earlier publications identified the causative agent as Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides large colony (MmmLC) and Arcanobacterium pyogenes. The aims of the study were to characterise Mycoplasma species isolated from the genital tract of Dorper sheep with polymerase chain reaction assay, cloning and gene sequencing. Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) results revealed six predominant Mycoplasma species: Mycoplasma arginini, Mycoplasma bovigenitalium, Arcanobacterium laidlawii, MmmLC, Mycoplasma sp. ovine/caprine serogroup II and M. canadense. Sequencing of the 34 isolates were analysed using phylogenetic methods, and 18 (50%) were identified as M. arginini with 99% - 100% similarity to M. arginini from England and Sweden. Six isolates showed 99% similarity to M. bovigenitalium strains from Turkey and Germany. Two isolates had 99% similarity to an M. sp. ovine/caprine sero group II from the United Kingdom. BLAST for two isolates revealed 99% similarity to Acholeplasma laidlawii from India, another two were 99% similar to MmmLC strain from Sweden, two showed 98% similarity to Mycoplasma sp. Usp 120 from Brazil, and two isolates have a 97% - 99% similarity to M. mm. Jcvl strain from the United States of America. Finally, one isolate showed similarity of 99% to Mycoplasma canadense strain from Italy. The findings support the hypothesis that ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis of Dorper sheep in South Africa (SA) is a multifactorial disease with involvement of different Mycoplasma species.