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Concept: Mollicutes


Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections occur both endemically and epidemically, and macrolide resistance has been spreading for 10 years worldwide. A substantial increased incidence of M. pneumoniae infections has been reported in several countries since 2010. Whether this increased incidence is attributed to different or to the same M. pneumoniae genotype is unknown. We have developed a multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) for the molecular typing of M. pneumoniae isolates. In this study, the MLVA typing method was modified and validated to be applicable directly to respiratory tract specimens without culture. This method was applied to 34 M. pneumoniae-positive specimens received at the Bordeaux Hospital, France, between 2007 and 2010 in an endemic setting, and to 63 M. pneumoniae-positive specimens collected during an epidemic surge of M. pneumoniae infections in 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel. The M. pneumoniae endemic spread was shown to be polyclonal in France, with 15 MLVA types identified. Strikingly, the Israeli epidemic surge was also a multi-clonal phenomenon, with 18 circulating MLVA types. The macrolide resistance-associated substitution, A2058G, was found in 22% of the Israeli patients. Macrolide-resistant M. pneumoniae belonged to four MLVA types, the MLVA type Z being the most frequent one. An association between the MLVA type Z and macrolide resistance might exist since macrolide resistance was present or generated during the course of illness in all patients infected with this MLVA type. In conclusion, the discriminatory power of the MLVA showed that the spread of M. pneumoniae strains in France in an endemic setting was polyclonal as well as the surge of M. pneumoniae infections in Israel in 2010.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Developed country, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma, Israel, Mollicutes


The prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis collected during 2004-2011 were determined. A total of 9956 individuals was analyzed. Identification was performed by use of the mycoplasma IST-2 kit. Antimicrobial susceptibility against doxycycline, josamycin, ofloxacin, erythromycin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, and pristinamycin was also tested by use of this commercial kit. Our results show a prevalence of 1856 positive patients for genital mycoplasmas (18.6 %). Among positive cultures, 89 and 1.1 % of isolates were Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis, respectively. For 9.8 % of isolates both urogenital mycoplasmas were grown. Doxycycline was the most active tetracycline for mycoplasma infections, and this is still the drug of first choice. Among macrolides, josamycin and clarithromycin are the most active agents against ureaplasmas; josamycin is also active against mycoplasmas and is an alternative to tetracyclines and erythromycin for mixed infections, especially for pregnant women and neonates. Fluoroquinolones had low efficacy against urogenital mycoplasmas. For Ureaplasma urealyticum, cross-resistance was found between erythromycin and macrolides (except josamycin) (40-80 %) and between erythromycin and ciprofloxacin (79 %). Antibiotic resistance over the test period did not vary significantly. Because of geographical differences among antibiotic resistance, local in-vitro susceptibility testing is recommended to avoid failure of therapy.

Concepts: Bacteria, Mycoplasma, Erythromycin, Quinolone, Mycoplasma hominis, Mollicutes, Macrolide, Mycoplasmataceae


Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), a novel method of gene amplification, was employed in this study for detecting Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in the respiratory tract or lungs of swine. The pathogen can be detected in LAMP reactions containing as few as 10 fg purified target DNA (10 copies of M. hyopneumoniae genome) within 30 min, which was comparable to real-time PCR. After 30-min reaction at 63 °C, the addition of a certain amount of dye (SYBR Green I and hydroxyl naphthol blue at a proper ratio) into the LAMP reaction system makes the results easily determined as positive or negative by visual inspection. In addition, the LAMP was able to distinguish between M. hyopneumoniae and other closely-related mycoplasma strains, indicating a high degree of specificity. The LAMP assay was more simple and cheap, since the reaction could be completed under isothermal conditions and less laboratorial infrastructure are required. And, it was proven reliable for M. hyopneumoniae diagnosis of nasal swab and lung samples from the field.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Respiratory system, Mycoplasma, Mollicutes, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae


Phytoplasmas are pathogenic bacteria within the class of Mollicutes, which are associated with more than 1000 plant diseases. In this study, we applied quantitative mass spectrometry to analyse affected pathways of the model plant tobacco (Nicotiana occidentalis) upon ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ strain AT infection. Using tissue obtained from leaf midribs, 1,466 plant-assigned proteins were identified. For 1,019 of these proteins, we could reproducibly quantify the expression changes of infected versus non-infected plants, of which 157 proteins were up- and 173 proteins were down-regulated. Differential expression took place in a number of pathways, amongst others strong down-regulation of porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism and up-regulation of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, which was consistent with observed increased levels of jasmonic acid, a key signal molecule of plant defence. Our data shed light on the molecular networks that are involved in defence of plants against phytoplasma infection and provide a resource for further studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Protein, Bacteria, Chlorophyll, Phytoplasma, Mollicutes, Candidatus, Acholeplasmataceae


Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes chronic respiratory disease in humans. Factors thought to be important for colonization include the ability of the mycoplasma to form a biofilm on epithelial surfaces and the production of hydrogen peroxide to damage host tissue. Almost all of the mycoplasmas, including M. pneumoniae, lack superoxide dismutase and catalase and a balance should exist between peroxide production and growth. We show here that the addition of catalase to cultures enhanced the formation of biofilms and altered the structure. The incorporation of catalase in agar increased the number of colony-forming units detected and hence could improve the clinical diagnosis of mycoplasmal diseases.

Concepts: Bacteria, Respiratory disease, Superoxide dismutase, Hydrogen peroxide, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma, Catalase, Mollicutes


In vitro activities of omadacycline, a new aminomethylcycline, were determined for Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma spp. in comparison to azithromycin, clindamycin, moxifloxacin, tetracycline, and doxycycline. All omadacycline MICs were < 2 μg/ml. MIC90s were 0.063 μg/ml for Mycoplasma hominis, 0.25 μg/ml for Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and 2 μg/ml for Ureaplasma spp. Omadacycline had the lowest MIC90 among all drugs tested against M. hominis Omadacycline activity was not affected by macrolide, tetracycline, or fluoroquinolone resistance.

Concepts: Microbiology, Activity, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma, Mycoplasma hominis, Mollicutes, Mycoplasmataceae


Gardnerella vaginalis plays an important role in bacterial vaginosis (BV,) while the role of genital Mollicutes is less obvious. The diagnosis of BV by use of the current Gram stain Nugent score is also suboptimal for defining the role of Mollicutes that lack a cell wall. Since bacterial load and diversity is an important prerequisite for BV, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays enable these to be assessed. The purpose of this study was to define the role of genital Mollicutes and potential patterns of synergy with G. vaginalis in women with BV. Vaginal swabs from 130 women categorised by Nugent score as BV (n = 28), intermediate (n = 22) and non-BV (n = 80) were tested against four qPCR TaqMan assays targeting G. vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, M. genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum and U. parvum. Statistical analyses were used to compare bacterial prevalence and load between the three groups of women. Mycoplasma hominis and G. vaginalis co-infection was significantly more common in BV (60.7 %) compared to intermediate (36.4 %) and non-BV (8.8 %) Nugent scores (p < 0.001). Significantly higher loads of M. hominis (p = 0.001) and G. vaginalis (p < 0.001) were detected in women with BV and the respective loads in M. hominis and G. vaginalis co-infections displayed a significant positive correlation (p < 0.001; r = 0.60). No significant associations were seen with the other Mollicutes. The findings strengthen the evidence of a role for M. hominis in BV and a potential synergy with G. vaginalis. This synergy could be an important trigger of the condition and sexual contact the conduit for the transmission of an otherwise commensal bacterium that could initiate it.

Concepts: Bacteria, Polymerase chain reaction, Mycoplasma, Mycoplasma hominis, Mollicutes, Bacterial vaginosis, Gardnerella vaginalis, Clue cell


Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the causative agent of enzootic pneumonia. In our previous work, we reconstructed the metabolic models of this species along with two other mycoplasmas from the respiratory tract of swine: Mycoplasma hyorhinis, considered less pathogenic but which nonetheless causes disease and Mycoplasma flocculare, a commensal bacterium. We identified metabolic differences that partially explained their different levels of pathogenicity. One important trait was the production of hydrogen peroxide from the glycerol metabolism only in the pathogenic species. Another important feature was a pathway for the metabolism of myo-inositol in M. hyopneumoniae. Here, we tested these traits to understand their relation to the different levels of pathogenicity, comparing not only the species but also pathogenic and attenuated strains of M. hyopneumoniae. Regarding the myo-inositol metabolism, we show that only M. hyopneumoniae assimilated this carbohydrate and remained viable when myo-inositol was the primary energy source. Strikingly, only the two pathogenic strains of M. hyopneumoniae produced hydrogen peroxide in complex medium. We also show that this production was dependent on the presence of glycerol. Although further functional tests are needed, we present in this work two interesting metabolic traits of M. hyopneumoniae that might be directly related to its enhanced virulence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Oxygen, Bacteria, Metabolism, Energy, Hydrogen peroxide, Mycoplasma, Mollicutes, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae


There is growing concern worldwide for macrolide resistance in M. genitalium following liberal use of 1 g azithromycin to treat non-gonococcal urethritis and confirmed C. trachomatis infection. Moxifloxacin is the second-line treatment for M. genitalium and still has excellent efficacy against it. However, recent reports indicating that quinolone resistance is more prevalent than previously thought are worrying. Routine testing of symptomatic men and women for M. genitalium is not currently recommended in BASHH guidelines, and attempts to implement such testing have been hampered by a lack of commercially available assays. We present a case of M. genitalium urethritis which failed to respond to four different antibiotic regimens, resulting in multiple visits to the clinic and anxiety for the patient.

Concepts: Mycoplasma, Chlamydia trachomatis, Quinolone, Mollicutes, Macrolide, Azithromycin, Mycoplasma genitalium, Non-gonococcal urethritis


The role of infection with Mycoplasma hominis following cardiothoracic organ transplantation and its source of transmission have not been well-defined. Here, we identify and describe infection with M. hominis in patients following cardiothoracic organ transplantation after reviewing all cardiothoracic transplantations performed at our center between 1998 and July 2015. We found seven previously unreported cases of M. hominis culture positive infection all of whom presented with pleuritis, surgical site infection, and/or mediastinitis. PCR was used to establish the diagnosis in four cases. In two instances, paired single lung transplant recipients manifested infection, and in one of these pairs, isolates were indistinguishable by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). To investigate the prevalence of M. hominis in the lower respiratory tract, we tested 178 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids collected from immunocompromised subjects for M. hominis by PCR; all were negative. Review of the literature revealed an additional 15 cases of M. hominis in lung transplant recipients, most with similar clinical presentations to our cases. We recommend that M. hominis should be considered in post-cardiothoracic transplant infections presenting with pleuritis, surgical site infection, or mediastinitis. M. hominis PCR may facilitate early diagnosis and prompt therapy. Evaluation for possible donor transmission should be considered.

Concepts: Immune system, Pulmonology, Respiratory system, Organ transplant, Upper respiratory tract, Mycoplasma, Mycoplasma hominis, Mollicutes