CCPP (Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia)
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Friday, 11th September 2020

Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) currently does not occur in Angora goats in South Africa but in goats in East Africa and the Middle East.

There was however an outbreak of CCPP in South Africa in 1881. Infection was transported with goats from Turkey (Hutcheon 1881Hutcheon D. 1881. Contagious pleuro-pneumonia in angora goats. Vet J. 13:171–180. Hutcheon 1889Hutcheon D. 1889. Contagious pleuro-pneumonia in goats at Cape Colony, South Africa. Vet J. 29(12):399–404.

In previously unexposed goat flocks mortality rates may be as high as 80% and morbidity 100%.  The disease is caused by a Mycoplasma capripneumonia and affects the respiratory tract, and is extremely contagious. Sheep can be affected but goats are the primary hosts.

It is often confused with other respiratory infections such as pasteurellosis.

How does it spread?

Spreads during close contact by inhaling respiratory droplets. It is suspected outbreaks occur due to the introduction of infected animals or after carrier animals become stressed by environmental changes and start shedding the infectious agent. It is not able to exist long in the external environment and may only survive outside the host for a few days.

If an outbreak occurs in South Africa it would likely be due to a goat introduced into South Africa or crossing the borders.

Clinical signs

Incubation period 6-10 days but can be up to 4 weeks.

  • Pyrexia of 41°C
  • Severe respiratory distress
  • Cough
  • Lethargy, anorexia
  • Frothy nasal discharge and stringy saliva may be seen at the end
  • High morbidity (up to 80%) and mortality (up to 100%)

Animals usually die within a week

Chronic cases - there is a cough and nasal discharge.

Post Mortem:

  • Pleuropneumonia, hepatisation and pleural adhesions
  • Pleural straw coloured fluid can be found
  • Pea sized yellow nodules can be found



Definitive diagnosis can be made by isolating M. capripneumoniae from lung tissue



Outbreaks can be eradicated with

  • quarantines, movement controls, slaughter of infected and exposed animals, and cleaning and disinfection of the premises
  • Some countries have included vaccination in their eradication procedures

Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline or tylosin, can be effective if given early

What diseases look similar?

  • Peste des petits ruminants also not present in South Africa but controlled disease
  • Pasteurellosis

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