A group of the smallest organisms
that can be free-living in nature,
Pass bacterial filter and also grow
on laboratory media. More than 80
species, belong to Mycoplasmatales of
Mollicute. 3 families can be divided:
Mycoplasmataceae (require external
cholesterol during growth, contain
Mycoplasma and Ureplasma two genera);
Acholeplasmataceae (need not external
cholesterol during growth);
Spiroplasmataceae (can form spiral
Genus: Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma
M. pneumoniae: Upper respiratory tract disease,
tracheobronchitis, atypical pneumonia
M. hominis: Pyelonephritis, pelvic inflammatory disease,
M. genitalium: Nongonococcl urethritis
U. urealyticum: Nongonococcl urethritis
The smallest among prokaryotic
microganisms with circular dsDNA,
usually 0.2-0.3um in size; lack of
Pleomorphic, spherical, short rod,
filament; Gram negative, but stained
hardly, usually use Giemsa stain.
Motility: Motile by possible release and
reattachment of terminal cell organelle; no flagella
present; possess a protein attachment factor
termed P1 that interacts with a specific cellular
receptor and allows adherence to respiratory
Most aerobic; require 10%-20% human
or animal serum added to basic
nutrient media except Acholeplasma;
typical colony show fried egg
Many species are part of the normal flora
These organisms are a frequent cell culture
The organisms have limited biosynthetic
abilities; they require cholesterol for their cell
membrane and can generate energy via the
breakdown of arginine
Ureaplasma requires urea to produce an
electrochemical gradient; urea is converted to
These bacteria have the smallest genome
of any prokaryote ( about 20% that of E.
coli) and the lowest G C content (about
Sensitive to osmotic
resistant to thallium
acetate 醋 酸 亚 铊 in a
concentration of 1:10000
which can inhibit bacteria
M. pneumoniae is spread by close contact via
aerosolized droplets and thus is most easily spread in
confined populations (e.g., families, schools, army
Adherence factors - The P1 Adhesin localizes at tips of
the bacterial cells and binds to sialic acid residues on host
epithelial cells.The nature of the adhesins in the other
species has not been established. Colonization of the
respiratory tract by M. pneumoniae results in the
cessation of ciliary movement.
Toxic Metabolic Products
Immunopathogenesis : most children are infected from 2
- 5 years of age but disease is most common in children
5-15 years of age.
primary atypical pneumonia.
Incubation: 1-3 weeks
This disease can range from subclinical to
bronchopneumonia, often with a gradual onset
and mild to moderate severity. A long
convalescence (4-6 weeks) and several
possible complications (CNS, cardiac) follow
U. urealyticum, M.hominis, M.genitalium
are responsible for one form of
M. hominis is associated with pyelonephritis, pelvic
inflammatory disease and post-partum fevers.
Host defenses are not well characterized
but probably involve both humoral and cell
Mycoplasma affect a specific age distribution (5-9
year olds) and represent 8-15% of all pneumonias
in school age children.
Disease occurs worldwide, is endemic in some
areas and is spread by close personal contact
U. urealyticum is sexually acquired.
Antibody titers in
different age groups.
pneumonia caused by
this organism is
highest in the 5-15
year age group
Acquired Pneumonia Caused by Mycoplasma
Specimens: throat swab, sputum, genital
Microscopy - This is not particularly useful because of the
absence of a cell wall but it can be helpful in eliminating
other possible pathogens.
Culture - Sputum (usually scant) or throat washings must be
sent to the laboratory in special transport medium. It may
take 2 -3 weeks to get a positive identification. Culture is
essential for a definitive diagnosis.
Complement fixation test
Cold agglutinins - Approximately 34% - 68% of patients with
M. pneumoniae infection develop cold agglutinins.
ELISA - There is a new ELISA for IgM that has been used for
diagnosis of acute infection.
The antibodies of cold agglutinins arise before the
complement fixing antibodies and they decline faster
Sanitary: Avoidance of contacts, if possible.
Immunological: No single vaccine is
available. Natural resistance follows
chloramphenicol are effective.
Mycoplasma and L Form Bacteria
MYCOPLASMA L-FORM BACTERIA
No genetic relationship with
Relate to their parent
bacteria ,sometimes can
Cholesterol for their cell
No cholesterol for their cell
Stable in ordinary medium Need hyperosmotic solution
Grow slowly, colony small
Colony larger(diameter 0.5-
Low turbidity in liquid
High turbidity in liquid
medium ,may adhere to the
wall or bottom of the tube