Bovine Diagnostics

Bovine Diagnostics


For bovine clients, Newport Laboratories uses PCR technology for:

  • Detecting Mycoplasma spp, BVDV, IBRV, BRSV, BCV
  • Detecting E. coli fimbrae and toxins
  • Detecting Clostridium perfringens
  • Mycoplasma bovis speciation
  • Moraxella bovis/ovis speciation
  • Mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin gene detection

Examples of organisms genotyped in the PCR lab for bovine cases include:

  • Moraxella bovoculi
  • Mannheimia haemolytica
  • E. coli
  • Histophilus somni
  • Pasteurella multocida

We also offer Mycoplasma bovis DNA fingerprinting, which allows a client to see strain variations in a herd infected with Mycoplasma bovis. All of these tests aid in the selection of vaccine strains for autogenous production.

Diagnostic Specimens and Tests for the Major Bovine Diseases

(Click image for larger view) Bovine Disease Chart

Bovine Submission Forms

Newport Laboratories diagnostic request forms are available for customers to fill out and submit with their samples. There are three ways to submit your request forms:

  • Download, print, complete by hand and mail
  • Download, complete electronically, print completed form and mail
  • Download, complete electronically, and email completed form

Collecting and Submitting Bovine Samples for Diagnosis

Selection and Collection of Tissues/Samples

  • All samples should be taken from recently dead (or euthanized) cattle. Samples taken from animals dead for several hours (depending on ambient temperatures) may not be helpful due to advanced autolysis and overgrowth by non-pathogenic organisms.
  • Ideally, samples should be taken from untreated animals exhibiting acute disease.
  • Samples for detection (bacterial culture, virus isolation, or PCR) of the pathogen should be fresh (refrigerated). Fresh tissue samples should be sufficiently large to allow culture; fist-sized sections of tissues such as lung or liver are appropriate. They may be placed seperately in Ziploc® or Whirl-pak® bags. These samples should not be fixed in formalin. Samples intended for culture to recover isolates for autogenous bacterin production should be fresh, i.e., not fixed in formalin.
  • Formalin-fixed samples should be kept seperate from fresh samples.
  • Intestinal samples should be at least two inches in length. These samples should be kept separate from other samples to avoid contamination.
  • If using culture swabs and transport media, be sure to use the appropriate media:
    • For mycoplasma or viral isolation, always use the recommended medium.
    • For bacterial isolation, avoid using mycoplasma or viral media which contain antimicrobials and may inhibit growth of the desired pathogen.


  • All samples should be "double-bagged" to reduce the chance of leaking. This includes formalin-fixed samples.
  • All samples (unless noted otherwise) should be refrigerated until shipped. For shipping, choose the method that will assure samples will be received in 48 hours or less. Avoid sending tissues over a weekend. Appropriate amounts of ice (cold packs) should be used. In hot weather, additional ice packs should be included.
  • Free diagnostic shippers are available upon request.

Bovine Disease Diagnostic Resources

A 40 page book which contains detailed information on 21 common diseases in cattle. The book also gives necropsy instructions and outlines what tissues to submit, how to prepare the submission and what test we suggest running on the sample. This is a great resource for veterinarians, vet students and producers.

Newport Laboratories also offers a Bovine Disease Diagnostic Guide as a quick reference for tests of major diseases and submission guidelines. This is also available free of charge.

Order physical copies of the Diagnostic Manual and Guide here.

PDF for Download: