The object of this study was to develop a prefixation protein A gold labelling technique for Ureaplasma diversum and to apply this to bovine embryos. Sixteen hour cultures of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 were incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum, followed by exposure to protein A gold and negative staining. The ureaplasmas which were incubated with specific antiserum were labelled with gold particles while those ureaplasmas which were incubated with nonimmune serum were not labelled. Twenty-three unhatched, day 7 bovine embryos were then incubated in either embryo culture medium (ECM) alone, ECM with sterile ureaplasma broth added or ECM with 1.7 X 10(6) colony forming units of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 per embryo. After 16 hours, the embryos were washed twice and incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum. The embryos were then incubated with medium containing protein A gold and examined by electron microscopy. No ureaplasmas were identified on the zona pellucida of the control embryos. Ureaplasmas were identified on the outer surface of the zona pellucida of 13 of the 17 embryos which had been exposed to the organism. Of these, the embryos which were incubated with specific antiserum had labelled ureaplasmas while the embryos which were incubated with nonimmune serum had unlabelled ureaplasmas on the zona pellucida. It was concluded that the protein A gold method was a suitable technique for the identification of ureaplasmas in EM preparations. The presence of ureaplasmas on the outer surface of the bovine zona pellucida following in vitro exposure to the organism was confirmed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Calmodulin (CAM) acts as an intracellular regulator of calcium, an important mediator of many cell processes. We used the CAM assay and electron microscopy to investigate the effects of Ureaplasma diversum on bovine oviductal explants obtained aseptically from slaughtered cows. A stock suspension of U. diversum (treated specimens) and sterile broth (controls) was added to replicates of cultured explants and incubated at 38 degrees C in an atmosphere of 5.5% CO2 for 48 hours. Explants were examined for ciliary activity, extracellular CAM loss, and for histological and ultrastructural changes. Explants and their culture media were examined for changes in CAM concentration. All experiments were replicated three times. In addition, U. diversum, medium and broth were assayed for CAM content. The concentrations of CAM in explants and media changed significantly (p < 0.05) in samples which were inoculated with U. diversum when compared to controls. The controls and infected specimens did not differ histologically or ultrastructurally, but U. diversum was seen to be closely associated with infected explant tissue. In view of this close affinity it is assumed the loss of CAM from the oviductal cells was causally related, but this was not proven. The failure to show cell membrane injury on light and electron microscopic examination was probably related to the short duration of the experiment and may only point out the sensitivity of the CAM assay in detecting early cell membrane injury. Compromise in characteristics of the medium to support both, the viability of oviductal cells and U. diversum limited the experimental time to 48 hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
To determine the influence of Ureaplasma diversum on bovine fertility 11 uninfected virgin heifers with normal ovarian cyclic activity were randomly allocated to test or control groups. At a synchronized estrus, five test heifers were given an intrauterine broth inoculum containing 1.09 x 10(8) to 1.4 x 10(9) colony forming units of U. diversum and six control animals were infused with sterile ureaplasma broth medium. All animals were artificially inseminated within one hour of infusion. Pregnancy was diagnosed in one of five test heifers and all of six controls by serum progesterone concentrations measured to 25 days postinsemination. The difference in pregnancy rates between the two groups was statistically significant (p = 0.0152). It was concluded that under the conditions of this experiment U. diversum is capable of causing infertility in cattle.
Bovine epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium were inoculated with Ureaplasma diversum, pathogenic strain 2312, at 10(6) or 10(3) color-changing units (ccu)/ml in the presence of 1% fetal bovine serum (depleted of steroids by dextran-charcoal treatment) to assess the effect of infection on prostaglandin biosynthesis. When the inoculum of U. diversum was 10(6) ccu/ml, the concentration of U. diversum in the culture medium decreased with time. U. diversum was found on the epithelial and stromal cell monolayers, increasing in titer 100-fold, indicating that attachment and eventually growth occurred. When the inoculum was 10(3) ccu/ml, the titer of U. diversum remained the same or increased in the supernatant and increased on epithelial and stromal cells. The effect of infection was evaluated by measurement of the primary prostaglandin produced by each cell type, prostaglandin F2a for epithelial cells and prostaglandin E2 for stromal cells. Infection with U. diversum significantly decreased prostaglandin F2a accumulation, by 44.7% +/- 6.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005) and 15.8% +/- 5.3% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.05) in epithelial cells. Prostaglandin E2 accumulation by stromal cells was decreased by 34.0% +/- 4.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.001) and by 13.5% +/- 2.7% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005). Infection with 10(6) ccu/ml did not alter endometrial cell viability, as shown by protein measurement, trypan blue dye exclusion, and cell plating efficiency tests. Thus, alterations in prostaglandin production were not due to cell deterioration. These observations suggest that U. diversum can alter prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2a patterns in primary cultures of bovine endometrial cells without affecting cell viability.
Ureaplasma diversum has been associated with infertility in cows. In bulls, this mollicute colonizes the prepuce and distal portion of the urethra and may infect sperm cells. The aim of this study is to analyze in vitro interaction of U. diversum isolates and ATCC strains with bovine spermatozoids. The interactions were observed by confocal microscopy and the gentamycin internalization assay.
U. diversum were able to adhere to and invade spermatozoids after 30 min of infection. The gentamicin resistance assay confirmed the intracellularity and survival of U. diversum in bovine spermatozoids.
The intracellular nature of bovine ureaplasma identifies a new difficulty to control the reproductive of these animals.
Ureaplasma diversum; bovine spermatozoid; invasion; confocal microscopy
Twenty beef heifers were randomly assigned to five equal groups and vaccinated: Group 1--in vaginal submucosa (VM) with Ureaplasma diversum ultrasonicated whole cells (WC) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA); Group 2--in VM with U. diversum cell membranes (CM) in CFA; Group 3--subcutaneously (SC) with CM in CFA; Group 4--in VM with CM alone; and Group 5--in VM with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) in CFA. A second vaccination with the same antigens in incomplete Freund's adjuvant was given after four weeks, and three weeks later, all heifers were challenged intravaginally with 3.6 x 10(7) colony-forming units (CFU) of U. diversum strain 2312. Immunoglobulins that reacted with U. diversum were measured in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) by an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay. In groups 1 and 2, vaccination by the VM route with WC or CM antigens, stimulated high levels of U. diversum-reactive IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies in serum as well as CVM, but a low IgA response only in CVM. In group 4, VM vaccination with CM (no adjuvant) elicited a minimal IgG1 and IgG2 response in serum and CVM. In group 3, SC vaccination with CM antigen stimulated high IgG1 and IgG2 reactivity in both serum and CVM, but no IgA reactivity. Very little IgM reactivity was detected in the four vaccinated groups. Intravaginal challenge resulted in characteristic granular vulvitis in all vaccinated and control heifers, with all animals remaining culture-positive for the 35 day observation period. The infection stimulated a marked increase in the specific IgA response in CVM of the three groups vaccinated with either, adjuvanted antigen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
We report herein a survey in which cultures of bovine reproductive tracts for Ureaplasma diversum and mycoplasmas were carried out in order to better understand the role of these organisms in granular vulvitis (GV). Samples cultured were vulvar swabs from clinically normal cows or ones with GV, preputial swabs or raw semen from bulls, and abomasal contents of aborted fetuses.
Ureaplasma diversum was isolated from 104 (43.3%) of 240 dairy cows, 32 (27.1%) of 118 beef cows, 43 (47.2%) of 91 beef heifers, 23 (67.6%) of 34 beef bulls, and three (60%) of five dairy bulls. Mycoplasmas were isolated from 18 (7.5%) dairy cows, two (1.6%) beef cows, three (8.8%) beef bulls, and one dairy bull. No isolation was made from 97 aborted fetuses. For 65 dairy cows and 30 beef heifers with vulvar lesions, the isolation rates for ureaplasmas of 62.5% and 69.7%, respectively, were significantly higher (X2) than those for normal animals (37.5% and 30.3%). On immunofluorescent serotyping of 137 of the 205 isolates, there were 66 in serogroup C (strain T44), 18 in serogroup B (strain D48), eight in serogroup A (strain A417 or strain 2312), 14 cross-reacting, and 31 that were not identified. It was concluded that U. diversum is commonly present in the lower reproductive tract of beef/dairy cattle in Saskatchewan and is associated with granular vulvitis.
Three species of mycoplasma have been established as being of importance as causes of pneumonia in housed calves, based on pathogenicity studies and frequency of association with the disease. These three species are Mycoplasma bovis, M. dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum. M. bovis is the most pathogenic of these species but the disease outbreaks with which it is associated are sporadic. M. dispar is regularly isolated from pneumonic calves but is also found causing mild superficial and asymptomatic infections of the respiratory mucosa. The bovine ureaplasmas are serologically complex. They are distinct from ureaplasmas isolated from other non-ruminants by PAGE analysis, G + C content of DNA, and serology. A second species within the genus ureaplasma has been proposed to accommodate the bovine ureaplasmas, U. diversum. Control of mycoplasma respiratory infections of cattle based on immunization might be possible. Calves have been immunized against M. bovis and immunity has been related to antibody in the lung. M. dispar appears less immunogenic in calves than M. bovis and this may contribute to its pathogenicity.
Ureaplasma diversum is a pathogen in the bovine reproductive tract. The objective of the research was to study interactions with macrophages and lymphocytes which might elucidate aspects of pathogenetic mechanisms of this organism. We studied the activation of murine macrophages of C3H/HeN (LPS-responder) and C3H/HeJ (LPS-low-responder) genotype for TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1 and nitric oxide production and blastogenic response of C3H/HeJ splenocytes after Ureaplasma diversum stimulation. Live and heat-killed U. diversum induced TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 in peritoneal macrophage cultures of both C3H/HeN and C3H/HeJ mice in a dose dependent manner. Interferon-gamma modulated the cytokine production, by increasing the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and nitric oxide, but IL-1 secretion was only enhanced in C3H/HeJ macrophages stimulated by live ureaplasmas. Supernatant of U. diversum sonicate was mitogenic for murine spleen lymphocytes. The blastogenic response was dose dependent, and stimulation with both U. diversum and Concanavalin A seemed to have an additive effect. These results suggest that U. diversum, similar to other mycoplasmas, activates murine macrophages and lymphoid cells. The studies should be repeated with bovine cells in order to elucidate pathogenetic aspects of inflammation in cattle caused by U. diversum.
Studies were performed to characterize the effects of ureaplasmas in HeLa, 3T6, and CV-1 cell cultures. The ureaplasmas studied were human Ureaplasma urealyticum T960 (serotype VIII), bovine U. diversum T95, simian strain T167-2, ovine strain 1202, canine strain D1M-C, and feline strains 382 and FT2-B. FT2-B was the only ureaplasma to grow in the cell free culture medium, Dulbecco modified Eagle-Earle medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum. The growth pattern of the ureaplasmas varied in the different cell cultures, but each strain grew in at least two of the cell cultures, suggesting a requirement for a product of the cell culture and for low concentrations of urea. When growth occurred, organisms grew to concentrations that approached, but did not equal, those observed in 10B broth. Most, but not all, ureaplasmas grew quickly, reaching peak titers 2 days after infection. Canine strain D1M-C did not grow in 3T6, but showed rapid growth in HeLa and CV-1 cells, killing both cultures, In some systems, e.g., U. urealyticum T960 and simian strain T167-2, the infection persisted, and ureaplasmas could be recovered from cell cultures four passages after infection, when studies were terminated. The cell culture ureaplasmas grew on T agar, but not on mycoplasma agar medium.
The indirect immunoperoxidase test using small, square filter paper was used for rapid identification of mycoplasmas. Colonies of type strains of 22 mycoplasma species, 3 acholeplasma species, and three Ureaplasma diversum serogroups were stained by this test with high sensitivity and specificity. All of 49 isolates from bovine materials and cell cultures were easily identified by this test, and the results agreed with those obtained by growth inhibition test. Use of filter paper made it possible to add different kinds of antisera or conjugates to the same agar plate simultaneously and also to save antiserum and conjugate. This test proved to be a simple and useful technique for rapid identification of many mycoplasma species grown on agar medium.
Two field isolates of Ureaplasma diversum spp. were used to infect heifers at the time of insemination in a preliminary study to observe the effect of infection on early pregnancy. M84-14c-1 was a field isolate from a bull's prepuce typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-44 (Group C). M84-477c-4 was a field isolate from bovine semen typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-288 (Group A). All three heifers infected with M84-477c-4 had a mild granular vulvitis at some time during the trial. None was pregnant when slaughtered 27 days after infection. The result of infection with M84-14c-1, a preputial isolate, was not consistent. One heifer had no infection and a normal pregnancy, one heifer was infected with an abnormal pregnancy, and one heifer was open but ureaplasmas were not detected until day 17 of the trial.
The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of various strains of Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum, which are prevalent causes of pneumonia in calves, to 16 antimicrobial agents in vitro. The MICs of the antimicrobial agents were determined by a serial broth dilution method for 16 field strains and the type strain of M. bovis, for 19 field strains and the type strain of M. dispar, and for 17 field strains of U. diversum. Final MICs for M. bovis and M. dispar were read after 7 days and final MICs for U. diversum after 1 to 2 days. All strains tested were susceptible to tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin but were resistant to nifuroquine and streptomycin. Most strains of U. diversum were intermediately susceptible to oxytetracycline but fully susceptible to chlortetracycline; most strains of M. bovis and M. dispar, however, were resistant to both agents. Strains of M. dispar and U. diversum were susceptible to doxycycline and minocycline, but strains of M. bovis were only intermediately susceptible. Susceptibility or resistance to chloramphenicol, spiramycin, spectinomycin, lincomycin, or enrofloxacin depended on the species but was not equal for the three species. The type strains of M. bovis and M. dispar were more susceptible to various antimicrobial agents, including tetracyclines, than the field strains. This finding might indicate that M. bovis and M. dispar strains are becoming resistant to these agents. Antimicrobial agents that are effective in vitro against all three mycoplasma species can be considered for treating mycoplasma infections in pneumonic calves. Therefore, tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin may be preferred over oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline.
We measured antibody levels in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) of four heifers vaccinated with two inoculations of killed Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) two weeks apart, and six heifers given a placebo. Two weeks later, the vaccinates and four placebo heifers, were challenged by intravaginal inoculation with 6.4 x 10(8) colony-forming units of the homologous U. diversum strain. The remaining two placebo heifers served as unvaccinated, unchallenged controls. Antibody levels in serum and CVM of all heifers were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Vaccination stimulated specific IgG1 and IgG2 responses in serum and CVM but only a slight IgM and no IgA response. In both vaccinate and placebo heifers, subsequent intravaginal challenge resulted in a granular vulvitis (GV) with a predominant IgA response in the CVM. The GV gradually subsided during the 35 day observation period but ureaplasmas were consistently demonstrated by culture. We concluded that subcutaneous vaccination stimulated a specific, albeit nonprotective, IgG response in serum and CVM. In contrast, vaginal infection primarily induced a mucosal IgA response.
Understanding mollicutes is challenging due to their variety and relationship with host cells. Invasion has explained issues related to their opportunistic role. Few studies have been done on the Ureaplasma diversum mollicute, which is detected in healthy or diseased bovine. The invasion in Hep-2 cells of four clinical isolates and two reference strains of their ureaplasma was studied by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and gentamicin invasion assay.
The isolates and strains used were detected inside the cells after infection of one minute without difference in the arrangement for adhesion and invasion. The adhesion was scattered throughout the cells, and after three hours, the invasion of the ureaplasmas surrounded the nuclear region but were not observed inside the nuclei. The gentamicin invasion assay detected that 1% of the ATCC strains were inside the infected Hep-2 cells in contrast to 10% to the clinical isolates. A high level of phospholipase C activity was also detected in all studied ureaplasma.
The results presented herein will help better understand U. diversum infections, aswell as cellular attachment and virulence.
To evaluate the developmental potential and aneuploidy rates of in-vitro versus in-vivo grown and matured mouse oocytes.
Mice were superovulated to obtain in-vivo matured oocytes. Mouse preantral follicles were also mechanically isolated and cultured in-vitro. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) was performed and fertilization, cleavage, and morula/blastocyst formation rates were compared between groups. Cytogenetic analysis was used to compare oocyte aneuploidy rates and aneuploidy characteristics in the developing embryos.
In-vivo oocyte maturation resulted in higher IVF fertilization, cleavage, and morula/blastocyst formation rates versus in-vitro follicle culture (96.4% versus 78.5%, p < 0.001; 95.3% versus 77.4%, p < 0.001; 94.1% versus 76.9%, p < 0.001). Total aneuploidy rates were higher in embryos derived from in-vitro matured oocytes versus those grown in-vivo (4.0% versus 1.3%, p < 0.05).
Results indicate a reduced developmental competency of in-vitro matured oocytes. The data also highlight an increased susceptibility to meiotic errors in early stage follicles undergoing in vitro culture.
Aneuploidy; Follicle; In-vitro; Maturation; Mosaicism; Oocyte
A differential agar medium for the identification of Ureaplasma urealyticum in primary cultures of clinical specimens is described. The differential medium (no. A7) is specific for the identification of U. urealyticum and other members of the genus Ureaplasma. Large-colony, classical Mycoplasma and Acholeplasma species and Proteus L colonies are unreactive on this differential medium. The medium incorporates the biochemical principle of the direct spot test for urease in colonies of Ureaplasma and contains added urea and a sensitive indicator of ammonia, manganous sulfate. Ureaplasma colonies on this medium are identified as dark golden-brown or rich deep-brown colonies, in sharp contrast to the light background of the medium, when viewed by direct transmitted illumination under the low power of the microscope.
Purpose: Our purpose was to develop a well-defined medium for the in vitro maturation (IVM) of immature bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC).
Methods: The COC were cultured in the presence of three protein supplementations: fetal bovine serum (FBS), bovine serum albumin, and Synthetic Serum Substitute. The embryos obtained after in vitro fertilization of IVM oocytes were cocultured with Vero cells and their development to the morula and blastocyst stages was studied.
Results: When FBS was absent from the IVM medium, a significantly lower fertilization rate was observed, followed by a decrease in the percentage of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage. When FBS was replaced by a defined protein supplementation, the best results were obtained with Synthetic Serum Substitute.
Conclusions: Adequate protein supplementation of the IVM medium optimizes the fertilization rate and the development of bovine IVM oocytes. The implication of these results in the human field is discussed.
In vitro maturation; oocyte; follicle; ovary; bovine
Non-human primate embryos are invaluable for conducting research relevant to human infertility and stem cells, but their availability is restricted. In this preliminary study, rhesus monkey embryos were produced by IVF at the Caribbean Primate Research Centre and shipped in tubes of gassed culture medium within a battery-powered transport incubator by overnight courier to Wayne State University in Michigan. Upon arrival, the embryos were incubated in fresh culture medium to evaluate further development. In 11 shipments comprising 98 cleavage-stage embryos developing from oocytes that were mature (MII) upon collection, 51 (52%) reached advanced preimplantation stages (morula to hatched blastocyst) during prolonged culture following transportation. However, most embryos produced from oocytes that were immature (MI) at collection arrested and only 5/51 (10%) reached advanced stages of development. This study demonstrates that non-cryopreserved primate embryos can be routinely transported between distant sites without loss of developmental ability. In this way, the processes of production and study of non-cryopreserved primate embryos need not be restricted to the same or nearby laboratories. This will expand the use of these embryos for research and facilitate generation of translationally relevant information.
blastocyst; embryo culture; embryo transportation; in-vitro fertilization; rhesus monkey
Cultures for mycoplasmatales, viruses and bacteria were made from bovine vulvar swabs to determine whether ureaplasma was associated with a clinical granular vulvitis observed in 16 Ontario dairy herds. Ureaplasma was isolated from 23.5% of 34 clinically normal cows, 74% of 27 cows with mild to moderate vulvar hyperemia but no discharge and 100% of 20 cows with acute vulvar hyperemia accompanied by purulent discharge. There were statistically significant differences in rates of isolation among clinical groups. Mycoplasma bovigenitalium was isolated from 7.7% and 20% of cows with moderate or acute vulvitis respectively but not from normal cows. Haemophilus somnus was isolated from 25% of cows with acute vulvitis. There were no significant differences in isolations of Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium pyogenes and alpha-hemolytic streptococcus between normal and clinically affected animals. Cultures of 135 repeat samples from 33 cows revealed that ureaplasma persisted in some animals for at least three months. No viruses were isolated from any of the animals in this study.
Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM) occur more frequently in African-American women than in other racial groups. This may be due to an enhanced inflammatory response to pathogens associated with the condition. It is also possible that amniotic fluid (AF) has different immunomodulatory properties in African-American women that increase their risk of PTB and pPROM. To test this, we cultured fetal membranes from European-American and African-American women with sterile medium (control), Escherichia coli, Gardnerella vaginalis, Group B streptococci (GBS), Polyporphorans gingivalis, Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma urealyticum or Ureaplasma parvum in the presence and absence of 50% autologous AF. Cytokine concentrations were quantified in the conditioned medium. All bacterial species increased IL-8 production. IL-1β and TNF-α production were stimulated by LPS, E. coli, and G. vaginalis compared with control, but responses to Group B streptococci and P. gingivalis were limited to IL-1β and TNF-α respectively. Genital mycoplasmas stimulated TNF-α and IL-10 but had no effect on IL-1β production. African-Americans had twice the IL-1β response to E. coli as European-Americans (P = 0.031). Conversely, European-Americans produced more IL-8 in response to LPS than African-Americans (P = 0.026). AF had both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties that varied between races and pathogens. These results suggest that the host response to fetal membrane infections is complex and not generalizable. Interventions to prevent PTB and pPROM may need to be customized based on a patient’s race, type of bacterial infection and factors in her AF.
Preterm birth; Race; Amniotic fluid; Infection; Genital mycoplasma
Purpose: Bovine embryos and zygotes are known to be sensitive to “temperature shock” when cooled to temperatures near 0°C. The effect of chilling on in vitro derived embryos at various cleavage stages was investigated.
Methods: Cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs) were matured in IVM medium with serum. Presumptive zygotes were cultured in serum free in vitro culture (IVC) medium. Embryos were used as chilled or control samples at the 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, morula, and blastocyst stages. Embryos in 0.2 mL PBS in plastic straws were cooled rapidly in ethanol baths at 0°C for 30 min. Embryo viability was assessed by in vitro development.
Results: The percentage of control embryos that hatched as blastocysts increased the later stage at which they were selected. Relative proportion of embryos increased from 28% to 48% to 68% when chilled at the 8-cell, morula or blastocyst stages.
Conclusions: IVF-produced embryos are differentially susceptible to cooling injury. Cell counts made of those blastocysts formed from chilled embryos indicated subtle effects of chilling.
Bovine; cell number; chilling; IVF embryos; viability
Ureaplasma urealyticum respiratory tract colonization in preterm infants has been associated with a high incidence of pneumonia and the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. However, study of this human pathogen has been hampered by the absence of animal models. We have developed the first juvenile mouse model of Ureaplasma pneumonia and characterized the histopathology during the month following inoculation. C3H/HeN mice were inoculated intratracheally with a mouse-adapted clinical Ureaplasma isolate (biovar 2) or sham inoculated with 10B broth. Culture of lung homogenates and PCR of DNA from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) confirmed the presence of Ureaplasma in 100% of inoculated animals at 1 day, 60% at 2 days, 50% at 3 days, and 25% at 7 and 14 days. Ureaplasma was undetectable 28 days postinoculation. There were marked changes in BAL and interstitial-cell composition with increased number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes 1 to 2 days and 14 days postinoculation and macrophages at 2 and 14 days postinoculation. The Ureaplasma infection caused a persistent focal loss of airway ciliated epithelium and a mild increase in interstitial cellularity. There were no differences in BAL protein concentration during the first 28 days, suggesting that pulmonary vascular endothelial barrier integrity remained intact. Comparison of BAL cytokine and chemokine concentrations revealed low levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) at 3 days and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 at 7 days in Ureaplasma-infected mice but a trend toward increased TNF-α at 14 days and increased granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-10 at 28 days. These data suggest that Ureaplasma alone may cause limited inflammation and minimal tissue injury in the early phase of infection but may promote a mild chronic inflammatory response in the later phase of infection (days 14 to 28), similar to the process that occurs in human newborns.
The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical significance of detecting microbial footprints of ureaplasmas in amniotic fluid (AF) using specific primers for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in patients presenting with cervical insufficiency.
Amniocentesis was performed in 58 patients with acute cervical insufficiency (cervical dilatation, ≥1.5 cm) and intact membranes, and without regular contractions (gestational age, 16–29 weeks). AF was cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as genital mycoplasmas. Ureaplasmas (Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum) were detected by PCR using specific primers. Patients were divided into three groups according to the results of AF culture and PCR for ureaplasmas: those with a negative AF culture and a negative PCR (n=44), those with a negative AF culture and a positive PCR (n = 10), and those with a positive AF culture regardless of PCR result (n=4).
1) Ureaplasmas were detected by PCR in 19.0% (11/58) of patients, by culture in 5.2% (3/58), and by culture and/or PCR in 22.4% (13/58); 2) Among the 11 patients with a positive PCR for ureaplasmas, the AF culture was negative in 91% (10/11); 3) Patients with a negative AF culture and a positive PCR for ureaplasmas had a significantly higher median AF matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) concentration and white blood cell (WBC) count than those with a negative AF culture and a negative PCR (P<0.001 and P<0.05, respectively); 4) Patients with a positive PCR for ureaplasmas but a negative AF culture had a higher rate of spontaneous preterm birth within two weeks of amniocentesis than those with a negative AF culture and a negative PCR (P<0.05 after adjusting for gestational age at amniocentesis); 5) Of the patients who delivered within two weeks of amniocentesis, those with a positive PCR for ureaplasmas and a negative AF culture had higher rates of histologic amnionitis and funisitis than those with a negative AF culture and a negative PCR (P<0.05 after adjusting for gestational age at amniocentesis, for each); (6) However, no significant differences in the intensity of the intra-amniotic inflammatory response and perinatal outcome were found between patients with a positive AF culture and those with a negative AF culture and a positive PCR.
1) Cultivation techniques for ureaplasmas did not detect most cases of intra-amniotic infection caused by these microorganisms (91% of cases with cervical insufficiency and microbial footprints for ureaplasmas in the amniotic cavity had a negative AF culture); 2) Patients with a negative AF culture and a positive PCR assay were at risk for intra-amniotic and fetal inflammation as well as spontaneous preterm birth.
Amniotic fluid (AF); cervical insufficiency; chorioamnionitis; intra-amniotic infection; intra-amniotic inflammation; polymerase chain reaction (PCR); pregnancy; preterm birth; spontaneous abortion; ureaplasmas
The association of Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar hardjo type hardjobovis with bovine embryos produced by in vitro fertilization was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Morula stage embryos with an intact zona pellucida (ZP) were exposed to this spirochete for 24 h in culture medium, washed by the standard washing procedure as recommended by the International Embryo Transfer Society, and then examined. SEM showed typical helicoid leptospires on the surface and in the pores of the ZP. TEM showed cross and longitudinal sections of leptospires in the matrix and channels of the ZP, in the perivitelline and intercellular spaces, on the vitellus and in the embryonic cells. Some of the embryos that were penetrated showed damage to the membranes and the cytoplasm. The ineffectiveness of the washing procedure, for the removal of hardjobovis from exposed embryos may be of importance to the industry.