Chronic non-progressive pneumonia, a disease that has become a worldwide epidemic has caused considerable loss to sheep industry. Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (M. ovipneumoniae) is the causative agent of interstitial pneumonia in sheep, goat and bighorn. We here have identified by immunogold and immunoblotting that elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70) are membrane-associated proteins on M. ovipneumonaiea. We have evaluated the humoral and cellular immune responses in vivo by immunizing BALB/c mice with both purified recombinant proteins rEF-Tu and rHSP70. The sera of both rEF-Tu and rHSP70 treated BALB/c mice demonstrated increased levels of IgG, IFN-[gamma], TNF-[alpha], IL-12(p70), IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6. In addition, ELISPOT assay showed significant increase in IFN-[gamma].sup.+ secreting lymphocytes in the rHSP70 group when compared to other groups. Collectively our study reveals that rHSP70 induces a significantly better cellular immune response in mice, and may act as a Th1 cytokine-like adjuvant in immune response induction. Finally, growth inhibition test (GIT) of M. ovipneumoniae strain Y98 showed that sera from rHSP70 or rEF-Tu-immunized mice inhibited in vitro growth of M. ovipneumoniae. Our data strongly suggest that EF-Tu and HSP70 of M. ovipneumoniae are membrane-associated proteins capable of inducing antibody production, and cytokine secretion. Therefore, these two proteins may be potential candidates for vaccine development against M. ovipneumoniae infection in sheep.