Strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies capri (Mmc) are frequently isolated from goats with contagious agalactia, but they can also be recovered from herds that have shown no clinical signs of mycoplasmosis for several years. The present study was conducted in order to explore the potential genetic and antigenic differences existing between an Mmc strain isolated from an outbreak (septicaemic) and a strain isolated from the ear canal of a goat belonging to a herd with no recent episode of mycoplasmosis (carriage strain). The genomes of the two strains, compared by suppression subtractive hybridization, were shown to be poorly divergent. The two strains were inoculated into goats to produce specific antisera, but both induced fatal mycoplasmosis. These results indicate that septicaemic and carriage strains cannot be distinguished by their genetic background or by their pathogenic capacity under experimental conditions.
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