Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia

Background information

Priority Transboundary Animal Disease (TAD) 2021 – 2025 Regional Strategy


ASF    CBPP    FMD    PPR    RVF

Lung sickness in cattle (CBPP or Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia), caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC (MmmSC) is truly an African disease, long eradicated from the developed world, which represents a considerable burden for cattle owners in many parts of Africa, from Senegal and the Gambia in the West through Somalia in the East, and as far south as Namibia and Tanzania.

Map: CBPP Absence/presence in 2019 (WAHIS, 2020)

Map: Absence/presence of CBPP in 2011 (FAO/OIE/IAEA/IBAR, 2012)


In recent years, the disease has seen its area of spread increase in Africa (e.g. Senegal in West Africa, Gabon in Central Africa) and the number of outbreaks increase in areas where it was already present. It is currently being reported as present by around 18 countries (WAHIS, Jan – Jun 2019) with the latest outbreaks having been reported from Namibia (2019) and Gambia (2018).

As one of the OIE listed diseases, subject to official declaration of freedom by the OIE, only four countries in Africa are currently officially free from CBPP, i.e. Botswana, eSwatini, South Africa (country-wide) and Namibia (zone located south to the Veterinary Cordon Fence).

Several factors compound the control of CBPP: the fact that the disease is seen as a production disease, with rather limited mortality, that meat obtained from infected animals is still safe to trade, that the disease is widely treated with antibiotics, mitigating the symptoms, but at the same time propagating the infection through carriers and -most importantly- the limited efficacy of the available vaccines, mainly based on the attenuated strains T1/44 and T1sr.

Though live attenuated vaccines (T1/44 and T1sr) are available, their protection is limited to maximum of 12 months, hence requiring considerable logistical efforts to attain protection at population level. An additional constraint to attain demonstrated absence of infection or disease is the need for animal identification and traceability systems to be in place.

As a result, CBPP can only realistically be controlled through a series of measures, one which is movement control, making it a truly transboundary animal diseases. In a paper released in 1987, in the Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., Provost et al. affirmed that the eradication of CBPP was possible on the condition that all cattle are vaccinated for several years in a row and that all diseased animals need to be emergency slaughtered. The latest guidance on CBPP dates back to 2003 ( http://www.fao.org/3/a-y5510e.pdf ), demonstrating that CBPP has become a neglected public good.

Relevant framework documents

Picture (c) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre

OIE and FAO Reference Centres in Africa

OIE Reference Laboratory

Dr Chandapiwa Marobela RaborokgweNational Veterinary Laboratory
Private Bag 0035

Tel: +267 392 87 16
Email: [email protected]



FAO Reference Centre for technical assistance in quality control of veterinary vaccines

OIE Collaborating Centre for the quality control of veterinary vaccines

Dr Nick Nwankpa
Pan African Veterinary Vaccines Centre (PANVAC)
African Union
P.o.box 1746, Debre Zeit,

Tel: +251 – 11 4338001
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]


OIE / FAO Global Research and Expertise Networks

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