Mycoplasma, & Ureaplasma Species MLAB 2434 – Microbiology Keri Brophy-Martinez
Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma Species • General Characteristics • Once thought to be viruses because of size • Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living organism in nature • Four human pathogens • Mycoplasma pneumoniae - respiratory • Mycoplasma hominis - urogenital • Ureaplasma urealyticum – urogenital • Ureaplasma parvum- urogenital
Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma Species (cont’d) • Lack a cell wall • Pleomorphic organisms • Resistant to cell-wall-active antibiotics) • Susceptible to heat and drying • Slow growing, highly fastidious, facultative anaerobes • Require complex media for growth
Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma Species (cont’d) • Pathogens of respiratory and urogenital tracts • Transmission • Direct sexual contact • Mother-child exposure during delivery or in utero • Respiratory secretions/aerosols • Nosocomial (transplanted tissues)
Clinical Infections • Mycoplasma pneumoniae • Causes bronchitis, pharyngitis, or primary atypical pneumonia (a.k.a. “walking pneumonia”) • Usually infects school-age children and young adults in close quarters (dorms, military barracks, etc.) • 50% of infections produce “cold agglutinins” • Most often diagnosed by serologic evaluation and/ or PCR
M. hominis & Ureaplasma species • Most often associated with urogenital tract infections • May be isolated from asymptomatic individuals • Can be transmitted to the fetus at delivery • Opportunistic pathogens
Laboratory Diagnosis • Cultures must be delivered immediately to the lab, because the organisms are very susceptible to drying • Should be placed in transport media • Swabs should be of Dacron, polyester or calcium alginate with a plastic or aluminum shaft • If not plated immediately, should be frozen at -70°C • Most infections detected via serologic evaluation or PCR
References • Kiser, K. M., Payne, W. C., & Taff, T. A. (2011). Clinical Laboratory Microbiology: A Practical Approach . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. • Mahon, C. R., Lehman, D. C., & Manuselis, G. (2011). Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology (4th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Saunders.