Mycoplasma bovis causes mastitis in dairy cows and is associated with pneumonia and polyarthritis in cattle. The present investigation included a retrospective case-control study to identify potential herd-level risk factors for M. bovis associated disease, and a prospective cohort study to evaluate the course of clinical disease in M. bovis infected dairy cattle herds in Switzerland. Eighteen herds with confirmed M. bovis cases were visited twice within an average interval of 75 d. One control herd with no history of clinical mycoplasmosis, matched for herd size, was randomly selected within a 10 km range for each case herd. Animal health data, production data, information on milking and feeding-management, housing and presence of potential stress- factors were collected. Composite quarter milk samples were aseptically collected from all lactating cows and 5% of all animals within each herd were sampled by nasal swabs. Organ samples of culled diseased cows were collected when logistically possible. All samples were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In case herds, incidence risk of pneumonia, arthritis and clinical mastitis prior to the first visit and incidence rates of clinical mastitis and clinical pneumonia between the two visits was estimated. Logistic regression was used to identify potential herd-level risk factors for M. bovis infection. In case herds, incidence risk of M. bovis mastitis prior to the first visit ranged from 2 to 15%, whereas 2 to 35% of the cows suffered from clinical pneumonia within the 12 months prior to the first herd visit. The incidence rates of mycoplasmal mastitis and clinical pneumonia between the two herd visits were low in case herds (0-0.1 per animal year at risk and 0.1-0.6 per animal year at risk, respectively). In the retrospective-case-control study high mean milk production, appropriate stimulation until milk-let-down, fore-stripping, animal movements (cattle shows and trade), presence of stress-factors, and use of a specific brand of milking equipment, were identified as potential herd-level risk factors. The prospective cohort study revealed a decreased incidence of clinical disease within three months and prolonged colonization of the nasal cavity by M. bovis in young stock.