Johne's Disease (Paratuberculosis)

Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia

A critical cattle disease in developing nations

Over 50% mortality

25% of surviving animals remain infectious
$634 million global economic impact per year
High prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa and central Asia


Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is a highly contagious respiratory disease of cattle caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides with mortality rates of up to 50%. Symptoms include coughing, nasal discharge and respiratory distress in both acute and chronic forms. In acute cases progression is rapid, with symptoms often accompanied by pericarditis and death within a week of onset. Acute disease is more commonly seen in less healthy animals exposed to harsher conditions in the developing world. Chronic cases are more likely to occur in fitter healthier cattle and are characterised by a mild infectious cough. These chronic animals are unlikely to be killed by the disease but are responsible for its spread. CBPP is particularly prevalent in developing nations in Africa and Asia, where it causes significant economic damage and is one of the most important cattle diseases locally.

Gray cows in row_edited.png


Disease transmission is primarily via aerosols resulting from coughing. It can rapidly spread through a herd. An incubation period of 20-40 days allows seemingly healthy animals to enter a herd, with early symptoms being indistinguishable from other types of pneumonia. A symptomatic period of 20 days creates ample time to spread the disease. Animals that survive the disease have an approximately 25% chance of becoming infective carriers capable of perpetuating outbreaks.

CBPP's high infectivity and mortality results in significant economic damage estimated at $634 million per year globally. The disease is most prevalent in areas least able to deal with disease outbreaks due to a lack of expertise, facilities or infrastructure. These difficulties have made CBPP a historically underserved disease area.

How Biotangents are tackling contagious bovine pleuropneumonia 

Moduleic Sensing™ is not limited by environmental constraints and our Moduleic Sensing™ VET tests can be taken to remote areas. The simplicity of our system allows disease diagnosis with minimal training required even in low resource environments.

Biotangents have been working with Sidai Africa in Kenya and CIEL in the UK to develop a Moduleic Sensing™ diagnostic test for CBPP for the Kenyan market as part of an Innovate UK Agri-Tech Catalyst project. 


1. Tambi NE, Maina WO, Ndi C (2006) An estimation of the economic impact of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in Africa. Rev sci tech Off int Epiz 25: 999–1012

2.  Nicholas RAJ, Bashiruddin JB (1995) Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides (Small colony variant): the agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and member of the “Mycoplasma mycoides cluster.” J Comp Pathol 113: 1–27

3. World Organisation for Animal Health (2016) Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals 2016

4. GALVmed. Contagious Caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) is one of the most severe diseases of goats. [Available from:

5. Onono JO, Wieland B, Rushton J (2014) Estimation of impact of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia on pastoralists in Kenya. Prev Vet Med 115: 122–129

6. Egwu et al (2006) Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia: An Update. The Vet Bulletin: 66(9):875-888

7. MSD Veterinary Manual. Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia - Respiratory System. [Available from:]

8. GALVmed. Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia. [Available from: