NBA Unveils Campaign to Address Mycoplasma bovis

The NBA’s Science and Research Committee, in cooperation with South Dakota State University, unveiled a plan to address Mycoplasma bovis in bison herds. M. bovis is a respiratory disease that can decimate infected bison. While a vaccine is available to producers through Newport Labs – – the primary treatment today is management including providing a low-stress environment for your herd with quality water and feed, and avoiding overcrowding.

South Dakota State University’s Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab has agreed to  test samples of infected bison to identify Mycoplasma bovis and then perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) on representative isolates.* We are seeking 100 samples to be submitted. To do so, producers will have to submit a completed form along with the necropsied sample, which you can do with or without your veterinarian. Please submit this form if your veterinarian is submitting the sample, or this form if you are sending it on your own.

The samples will then be DNA tested by South Dakota State University and you will be charged $65.10 per sample for the testing. Only one sample is needed from the infected herd, and pooled samples will be charged the fee only one time. Note: The $65.10 breakdown cost is: $10 case accession fee + $25.00 Mycoplasma culture + (if culture is positive), then PCR is performed to speciate the Mycoplasma as “Mycoplasma bovis” $27.00 + 5% university fee, so total is:  $65.10. If cultures are negative, then the charge is the case accession fee + culture + 5% university fee.  The whole genome sequencing is being performed at no cost to the producers and veterinarians to help in the research of this Mycoplasma disease.*

 Learn more about the SDSU Diagnostics Lab at

Please help the bison business eradicate this terrible disease by doing your part and submitting your samples of any losses and email with any questions.

*Whole genome sequencing (WGS) would help in comparing new strains to historical strains, determining  strain type, transmission patterns and to evaluate the efficacy of herd management practices. The WGS sequencing can help answer the question of whether the same strain is infecting the herds over time or whether it is the introduction of  a new strain.  In addition, WGS may be useful to determine if there might be new targets for vaccine development.