In 2005 a Mycoplasma species was isolated from ocular-conjunctival swabs from an adult male Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) from the Valle d'Aosta Region, Northern Italy. The animal suffered from bilateral ocular discharge with diffuse inflammation, severe corneal involvement of the left eye and mild corneal opacity of the right eye. Histologic examination revealed a keratoconjunctivitis characterized by lymphocytic and plasmacellular infiltration. Laboratory investigations of the isolate included culture, transmission electron microscopy, PCR, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, as well as DNA sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene. These tests identified the isolate as Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri large-colony serovar, an organism that has occasionally been associated with keratoconjunctivitis in goats. For a correct diagnosis, it is necessary to carry out laboratory investigations, as clinical cases of keratoconjunctivitis in wild ruminants are not always ascribable to Mycoplasma conjunctivae.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4