Department of Wildland Resources & Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322, Australia; PO Box 647034, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164-7040, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]
Association of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae with pneumonia in domestic small ruminants has been described in Europe, Asia, and New Zealand but has received less attention in the United States. In 2011, the US Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System detected M. ovipneumoniae shedding in 88% of 453 domestic sheep operations tested in 22 states that accounted for 85.5% of US ewe inventory in 2001. We evaluated factors associated with M. ovipneumoniae infection presence and prevalence, and we compared health, lamb production, and ewe losses in infected and uninfected operations. M. ovipneumoniae detection was more common in larger operations than in smaller operations. Both likelihood of detection (at the operation level) and within-operation prevalence were higher in operations with more open management practices than in operations with more closed management practices. M. ovipneumoniae-positive operations showed significantly lower lambing rates and lower rates of lamb survival to weaning after accounting for differences in operation size and management practice. While its effect on any single rate was not particularly large, in aggregate we estimated that M. ovipneumoniae presence was associated with an approximately 4.3% reduction in annual lamb production.