Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia is probably directly responsible for the death of more cattle than any other single disease. Incubation period: 3 weeks to 6 months; symptoms: rise in temperature, short painful cough, disturbed breathing, indigestion, tympany, constipation, diarrhoea, abortion, emaciation, weakened heart. Death usually follows in 2 or 3 weeks after symptoms have become pronounced and acute. Recovery is often more apparent than real. Mortality rate is usually 50-70%. Cattle, buffaloes and related species such as reindeer, yak and bison are susceptible. Housed cattle are more susceptible than those in the open, and animal housing may remain infected for long periods.
Additional economic losses are due to the need to slaughter affected animals because of the difficulty of controlling contagious pleuropneumonia, and possible diagnosis of the disease may necessitate slaughter before it can be confirmed.
It has been present in Asia and Africa. Outbreaks have occurred in Australia and South America. Most countries in Europe are free of it with the exception of the Iberian peninsula; and the USA has been free of it since 1892. It is now restricted to the semi-arid tropical zone of Africa.