Chet Thomas

Department of Pathobiological Sciences
Office: 4474

Chet Thomas

Titles and Education

  1. Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology
  2. DVM 1972, University of California
  3. MPVM 1978, University of California
  4. PhD 1983, University of California


Infectious diseases epidemiology; microbiology and pathogenesis of avian and bovine mycoplasmas. As an epidemiologist, a portion of the research effort is directed to collaborations with other investigators studying infectious diseases of wild and domestic animal populations. The major areas of contribution are in the design and analysis of field studies. In the laboratory, the primary research emphasis is the study of diagnostic methods for detection of avian and bovine mycoplasmas and the pathogenic mechanisms by which they cause disease. Mycoplasmas are a unique group of bacteria which are thought to have arisen by deletion mutation from true bacteria. They are characterized by the absence of a cell wall, an extremely small genome, and an absolute dependence on host cells for certain of their metabolic requirements. Surprisingly, the loss of "genetic baggage" has not impaired their success as parasites and many mycoplasma species are recognized pathogens of man, animals, plants, and insects. Areas of investigation have included, the distribution and effect of Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in wild turkey populations. Similar studies have examined the role of M . Anatis infection in wild and domestic ducks. Work with bovine mycoplasmas has centered on study of the effect of M . bovis on bovine immune effector cell function and longitudinal studies of the incidence of Mycoplasma mastitis in the dairy industry in Wisconsin.


 Regulatory Veterinary Medicine and Public Health, Year 3, Semester 2.

Recent Publications

  1. Thomas, C.B., Sharp P. Detection of antigenic variation among strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent inhibition assay (ELISA) and western blot analysis. Avian Dis. 32:748-756, 1988.
  2. Thomas, C.B., Mettler, J., Sharp, P., Jensen-Kostenbader, J., Schultz, R.D. Mycoplasma bovis suppression of bovine lymphocyte responses to phytohemagglutinin. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 26:143-155, 1990.
  3. Thomas, C.B., Van Ess, P., Wolfgram, L.J., Riebe, J. Sharp, P., Schultz, R.D. Adherence to bovine neutrophils and suppression of neutrophil chemiluminescence by Mycoplasma bovis . Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 27:365-381, 1991.
  4. Thomas, C.B., Sharp, P. Glycoconjugate heterogeneity among five strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum . Avian Diseases 34:969-978, 1990.
  5. Thomas, C.B., Sharp, P. Fritz, B.A., Yuill, T.M. Identification of F strain Mycoplasma gallisepticum isolates by detection of an immunoreactive protein. Avian Diseases 35:601, 1991.