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1.  Incident Light Immunofluorescence of Alcohol-fixed Colonies of Ruminant Mycoplasma 
Two species of ruminant mycoplasma colonies had to be fixed in ethyl alcohol so that incident immunofluorescence method could be applied. In addition, the stain reaction had to be kept for 90 minutes at 37°C.
This fluorescent antibody (FA) method was developed to identify colonies of Vom strain of Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri, V-5 strain of M. mycoides var. mycoides, and PG-2 strain of M. agalactiaeon agar, using fluorescent ultraviolet light. Fluorescence was not demonstrated when heterologous conjugates or normal rabbit serum conjugate were applied but the reaction appeared to be specific for each strain of mycoplasma.
The FA method was able to differentiate specific mycloplasma colonies in mixed cultures.
PMCID: PMC1319754  PMID: 4121200
2.  Genetic and Serological Analysis of Lipoprotein LppA in Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri 
The genes encoding the 62-kDa lipoproteins from the Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides large-colony type (LC) strain Y-goat and the M. mycoides subsp. capri strain PG3 were cloned and analyzed by sequencing. These two lipoproteins have been named LppA[MmymyLC] and LppA[Mmyca], and their corresponding genes have been named lppA[MmymyLC] and lppA[Mmyca], respectively. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of these two lipoproteins showed a very high degree of similarity between these two mycoplasmas. Given the sequence data, LppA seems to fulfill the same structural functions as the previously described major lipoproteins P72 of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type and P67 of the Mycoplasma species bovine group 7. Based on lppA gene sequences of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and M. mycoides subsp. capri type strains, a specific PCR assay was developed so that it amplified this gene in all field strains of the two species analyzed in this study but not in the other members of the M. mycoides cluster. Analysis of the PCR-amplified lppA genes with frequently cutting restriction enzymes showed a certain degree of genetic variability which, however, did not cluster the two subspecies. This PCR therefore allows a rapid identification of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and M. mycoides subsp. capri but does not distinguish between these two closely related subspecies. LppA was expressed in Escherichia coli K-12 and used for the production of polyclonal mouse antiserum. Antibodies against recombinant LppA[MmymyLC] reacted with a 62-kDa protein in all M. mycoides subsp. mycoides LC and M. mycoides subsp. capri type strains and field strains tested but not with the other members of the M. mycoides cluster, thus showing the antigenic specificity of LppA and further supporting the concept that a close relationship exists between these two mycoplasmas.
PMCID: PMC95691  PMID: 10066658
3.  Mycoplasma Taxonomy Studied by Electrophoresis of Cell Proteins 
Journal of Bacteriology  1968;96(3):687-694.
The electrophoretic patterns of cell proteins in polyacrylamide gels were used for the study of several taxonomic problems in the Mycoplasmatales. The patterns of five Mycoplasma hominis strains showed marked differences that corresponded with their known serological and nucleic acid heterogeneity. The patterns of three M. mycoides var. mycoides strains isolated in different countries were essentially identical. The electrophoretic patterns of several caprine strains resembled those of M. mycoides var. mycoides, supporting their classification as M. mycoides var. capri. Strain B3, a swine isolate, accordingly was tentatively identified as M. mycoides var. capri. The bovine mastitis strain M. agalactiae var. bovis possessed a pattern basically similar to that of the goat mastitis strain M. agalactiae, supporting the inclusion of both strains in one species. Three M. pulmonis strains isolated from rats or tissue cultures showed nearly identical patterns. The pattern of the toxigenic M. neurolyticum (Sabin A) strain resembled but was not identical with that of the nontoxigenic PG28 strain. The avian Mycoplasma species, M. gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, M. synoviae, M. gallinarum, and M. iners showed easily distinguishable and specific patterns, supporting their present classification in different species. Several improvements in the electrophoretic technique are described, and its advantages and limitations as a taxonomic tool are discussed.
PMCID: PMC252360  PMID: 5732504
4.  Differentiation of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides from certain closely related caprine mycoplasmas by mycoplasmaemia and cross-protection tests in mice. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1979;82(3):407-418.
In recent years, mycoplasma taxonomists have found that numerous mycoplasma strains from goats are serologically indistinguishable from Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides, the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), by routinely used tests, e.g. the metabolism- and growth-inhibition tests. As a result, such organisms are now openly referred to as M. mycoides subsp. mycoides. Seven of these so-called M. mycoides subsp. mycoides strains from goats were compared with two strains of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides from CBPP, and with one strain of M. mycoides subsp. capri, by means of two in-vivo tests, namely, (1) a test of the ability of each strain, injected intraperitoneally into mice, to produce mycoplasmaemia, and (2) a cross-protection test in mice. Of the seven strains, only one ('O goat') was indistinguishable from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides; it also had small colonies resembling those of genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides. The other six were easily distinguished from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides, and they produced large colonies. These six strains and others like them should no longer be given a name that fails to distinguish them from the causative agent of CBPP. Cross-protection tests showed that the seven goat strains referred to above differed from M. mycoides subsp. capri.
PMCID: PMC2130076  PMID: 376695
5.  Immunogenic variation among the so-called LC strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1983;90(3):441-449.
Much evidence of immunogenic heterogeneity among the LC strains of Mycoplasma mycoides ssp. mycoides emerged from cross-immunization and -hyper-immunization experiments in mice in which three LC strains (Vom/Plum Island, 74/2488, and Mankefår 2833) were used for challenge purposes. All heterologous LC-strain vaccines cross-immunized against the three challenge strains, but protection was usually only 'partial', i.e. significantly less than that given by homologous vaccine. Cross-hyperimmunization with all heterologous LC but not SC strains produced protection against challenge with Vom/Plum Island that was virtually 'complete', i.e. similar to that produced by homologous vaccine. Challenge with 74/2488 gave generally similar results; but against Mankefår 2833 six heterologous LC vaccines gave complete protection and six did not. Vaccines prepared from the Smith (1423) strain of M. mycoides ssp. capri gave some protection against Vom/Plum Island but none against 74/2488 or Mankefår 2833. The cross-immunizing ability of three further M. mycoides ssp. capri strains appeared to resemble that of Smith (1423). In a cross-hyperimmunization experiment, vaccines prepared from SC strains of M. mycoides ssp. mycoides varied greatly in their ability to protect against challenge with strains 74/2488 and Mankefår 2833.
PMCID: PMC2134283  PMID: 6190898
6.  Rapid Detection of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia by a Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC Capsular Polysaccharide-Specific Antigen Detection Latex Agglutination Test 
A latex agglutination test (LAT) has been developed for the diagnosis of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP). The latex microspheres were coated with MmmSC polyclonal immunoglobulin G antiserum and detected MmmSC antigen in the serum of cattle infected with CBPP and in growth medium containing MmmSC. The specific antigen recognizsed by this test appeared to be the capsular polysaccharide (CPS). The LAT recognized all 23 strains of MmmSC examined in this study, with a sensitivity level of 2 ng of CPS, or the equivalent of 5 × 103 CFU, in a reaction volume of 0.03 ml. Therefore, rapid identification of MmmSC cultures should be possible. Agglutination was also observed with the related goat pathogens and “Mycoplasma mycoides” cluster members Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides large colony biotype (four of six strains positive) and Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri (three of six strains positive), in agreement with the suggestion that these latter two mycoplasmas may in fact represent a single species (although collectively exhibiting two capsular serotypes). Comparisons in diagnosis with the complement fixation test (CFT) were made by using African field sera from CBPP-infected cattle. After 2 (or 3) min of incubation, the test detected 55% (or 61%) of CFT-positive sera and 29% (or 40%) of CFT-negative sera, with an overall correlation in diagnosis of 62% (or 61%). The rates for false-positive diagnoses made by using “known” CBPP-negative sera from the United Kingdom were 3 or 13% after 2 or 3 min of incubation, respectively. The data agree with previous findings that some CBPP CFT-negative misdiagnoses may occur due to “antibody eclipsing” by excess circulating antigen. The LAT combines low cost and high specificity with ease of application in the field, without the need for any specialist training or equipment.
PMCID: PMC150542  PMID: 12626448
7.  Further studies on caprine and ovine mycoplasmas related to Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides 
The Journal of Hygiene  1980;85(2):247-256.
Nine caprine and ovine mycoplasma strains, said to be indistinguishable serologically from Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (the causative organism of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia; CBPP) were examined in mice by (1) a mycoplasmaemia test, and (2) a cross-protection test. Of the nine strains, two from goats belonged to a small colony (SC) type; four caprine and three ovine strains belonged to a large colony (LC) type.
The two SC strains — like a single SC strain examined in an earlier study — were indistinguishable from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides as isolated from CBPP. They produced mycoplasmaemia readily. In a cross-protection test, the two SC strains and a CBPP strain immunized completely against each other.
Of the seven LC strains, six — like six LC strains examined in an earlier study — were easily distinguished from genuine M. mycoides subsp. mycoides; except for one that was not tested, all were shown to lack the ability to produce mycoplasmaemia readily. In cross-protection tests all six strains immunized partially but not completely against a CBPP strain.
The seventh LC strain (Mankefår 2833) was exceptional: it produced mycoplasmaemia readily, resembling the SC strains in this respect. Like other LC strains, in cross-protection tests it protected only partially against a CBPP strain. Strain Mankefår 2833 was isolated in ca. 1965 by Brack from a Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) in a German zoo.
The ability of Mankefår 2833 to produce mycoplasmaemia enabled it to be used as a challenge strain in cross-protection tests. For the purpose of such tests the collection of nine mycoplasma strains referred to above was augmented with six LC strains from an earlier study. Partial but not complete protection against Mankefår 2833 was produced by two caprine SC strains, one CBPP strain, and nine LC strains. Three further LC strains gave protection that may have been as strong as that produced by the homologous strain, but confirmatory experiments are needed. A strain of M. mycoides subsp. capri gave no protection against Mankefår 2833.
PMCID: PMC2133930  PMID: 7005327
8.  Suppression-Subtractive Hybridization as a Strategy To Identify Taxon-Specific Sequences within the Mycoplasma mycoides Cluster: Design and Validation of an M. capricolum subsp. capricolum-Specific PCR Assay▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(4):1307-1316.
The phylogenetically related Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. mycoides subsp. mycoides biotype Large Colony are two small-ruminant pathogens involved in contagious agalactia. Their respective contributions to clinical outbreaks are not well documented, because they are difficult to differentiate with the current diagnostic techniques. In order to identify DNA sequences specific to one taxon or the other, a suppression-subtractive hybridization approach was developed. DNA fragments resulting from the reciprocal subtraction of the type strains were used as probes on a panel of M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. mycoides subsp. mycoides biotype Large Colony strains to assess their intrataxon specificity. Due to a high intrataxon polymorphism and important cross-reactions between taxa, a single DNA fragment was shown to be specific for M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and to be present in all M. capricolum subsp. capricolum field isolates tested in this study. A PCR assay targeting the corresponding gene (simpA51) was designed that resulted in a 560-bp amplification only in M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and in M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (the etiological agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia). simpA51 was further improved to generate a multiplex PCR (multA51) that allows the differentiation of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae from M. capricolum subsp. capricolum. Both the simpA51 and multA51 assays accurately identify M. capricolum subsp. capricolum among other mycoplasmas, including all members of the M. mycoides cluster. simpA51 and multA51 PCRs are proposed as sensitive and robust tools for the specific identification of M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC2292954  PMID: 18234866
9.  Comparative Study of Agar Mediums for Propagation of Ruminant Mycoplasma 
A brain heart infusion agar supplemented with 16.7% rabbit serum (BHIR) was found the most suitable for the culturing of ruminant mycoplasma. Gourlay medium and Perreau medium (4, 5) were not suitable for growth of Mycoplasma mycoides var. mycoides or M. agalactiae, but were satisfactory for M. mycoides var. capri.
Four strains of M. mycoides var. mycoides, three strains of M. agalactiae and three strains of M. mycoides var. capri were grown in our laboratory.
PMCID: PMC1319756  PMID: 4266704
10.  Growth and Pathogenesis of Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri in Chicken Embryo Tracheal Organ Cultures 
Infection and Immunity  1970;2(4):431-438.
The growth and pathogenicity of Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri were studied in chicken embryo tracheal rings in rolled tubes. In these organ cultures, M. mycoides var. capri attained titers of 107 to 108 color-changing units/ml of Eagle's medium and there was inhibition of ciliary activity. The rapidity of inhibition was directly related to the number of organisms inoculated. Growth of organisms was closely associated with the tracheal tissue because multiplication was not demonstrated in “conditioned medium,” that is Eagle's medium from which the rings had been removed. Mycoplasma growth occurred when the cultures were incubated at 37 C, 33 C, and room temperature, but the cilia-stopping effect (CSE) was most rapid at 37 C and was not demonstrable at room temperature. Furthermore, there was no CSE when cultures were maintained in medium in which M. mycoides var. capri had been grown but was either filtered to remove the organisms or treated with tetracycline to stop their multiplication. This indicated that the CSE of M. mycoides var. capri was dependent upon a close association of multiplying organisms with the tracheal rings and was not due to toxic products persisting in the medium. Chicken tracheal epithelial cells did not adsorb to colonies of M. mycoides var. capri but HeLa cells did. Although their adsorption was unaffected by prior neuraminidase treatment, the addition of neuraminidase to the tracheal organ culture system delayed the CSE of M. mycoides var. capri. Peroxide production was demonstrated in M. mycoides var. capri-infected tracheal rings but not in uninfected cultures. The addition of glucose to the organ cultures delayed the CSE of M. mycoides var. capri, possibly because of the stimulation of peroxidase activity. Similarily, catalase protected the cilia from the usual damaging effect of M. mycoides var. capri. This protective effect was partially reversed by the addition of 3-amino-1, 2, 4,-triazole and it did not occur if the catalase had been inactivated by boiling. The addition of hydrogen peroxide to tracheal cultures also resulted in loss of ciliary activity. The present results show that the liberation of peroxide is an important factor in the pathogenesis of M. mycoides var. capri infection of chicken tracheal organ cultures. It is speculated that this also may be so in the natural host.
PMCID: PMC416028  PMID: 16557857
11.  The ability of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides and closely related strains from goats and sheep to immunize mice against subspecies capri. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1981;87(2):321-329.
Small colony (SC) strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides from contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and from goats were compared with large colony (LC) strains of so-called M. mycoides subsp. mycoides from goats and sheep by means of a cross-protection test in which mice were challenged with M. mycoides subsp. capri. Of 13 LC strains, all gave partial cross-protection, and 11 were shown to be more closely related than four SC strains to subspecies capri. In a further experiment, six SC strains--three from CBPP and three from goats--all gave weak partial cross-protection against subspecies capri.
PMCID: PMC2134042  PMID: 7026674
12.  Phylogeny of the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster as determined by sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA genes from the two rRNA operons. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1996;178(14):4131-4142.
The so-called Mycoplasma mycoides cluster consists of six species or subspecies of mycoplasmas (Mollicutes). These species are pathogenic for ruminants and some of them are of great concern in veterinary medicine. The members of the M. mycoides cluster have two rRNA operons (rrnA and rrnB). The nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA genes of 10 strains, representing all of the known species and subspecies of the M. mycoides cluster, were determined by direct automated solid-phase DNA sequencing. The sequences of both rRNA operons were determined by a novel strategy involving in vitro amplification by PCR with one operon-specific primer pair and one general primer pair. Interestingly, sequence differences (polymorphisms) between the two operons were observed for all strains. Two strains of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae were sequenced, and 15 polymorphisms were found in the type strain (F38) and 17 polymorphisms were found in the other strain (4/2LC). Eight polymorphisms were found in the 16S rRNA genes of the M. mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type, and sequence length variations in a poly(A) region were observed in the 16S rRNA genes of the two operons of this species. Secondary-structure analysis showed that polymorphisms were present in both stem and loop regions. The nucleotide substitutions in the polymorphic sites of the stem regions often resulted in a change from a canonical to a noncanonical base pairing or vice versa. A compensatory mutation was never observed in the other nucleotide of the base pair. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA sequences indicated that Mycoplasma sp. strain PG50 should be included in the M. capricolum species group. Furthermore, the 16S rRNA sequences of M. mycoides subsp. capri and the M. mycoides subsp. mycoides large-colony type were 99.9% identical. We therefore suggest that these species be reclassified in a common species group (for instance, "Mycoplasma capri") distinct from the M. mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type, which formed an intermediate branch between the M. capricolum species group and the M. capri species group.
PMCID: PMC178170  PMID: 8763941
13.  Demonstration of cross-reactive antigens in F38 and related mycoplasmas by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1985;95(1):95-106.
The ELISA and an immunoblotting technique were used to study F38-type mycoplasmas - an important cause of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia - and a number of related mycoplasma species, subspecies, types or serogroups. Two-way ELISA cross-reactivity was demonstrated between five mycoplasmas, namely strain F38, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (LC strain), M. equigenitalium, M. primatum and bovine serogroup 7. In addition one-way cross-reactivity was demonstrated between F38 and each of the following mycoplasmas: M. mycoides subsp. mycoides (two SC strains), M. mycoides subsp. capri, and bovine serogroup L. F38 and M. capricolum did not cross-react. Immunoblot analysis, unlike ELISA, revealed that F38 and M. capricolum were closely related. At least four major protein antigens were shared between F38, M. mycoides subsp. mycoides (SC and LC strains), M. mycoides subsp. capri and bovine serogroup 7. The ELISA cross-reactions (above) shown by M. equigenitalium and M. primatum with each other, with F38 and with other mycoplasmas were not apparent by immunoblotting.
PMCID: PMC2129495  PMID: 2410491
14.  Binucleate Classical Mycoplasmas Pathogenic for Goats 
Infection and Immunity  1972;5(4):433-441.
The growth of three pathogenic goat mycoplasmas, strains Y, KH1 and Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri (PG3), was studied. They formed classical colonies on agar containing 1/500 thallium acetate. They were inactivated during storage at 2 to 4 C and by freezing and thawing but not by shaking. Only KH1 was killed by sonic treatment. Ultraviolet inactivation curves showed that their colony-forming units were single binucleate cells. Details of their growth curves are given. Filtration through 0.45- or 0.3-μm membrane filters removed up to 97% of the cells. Less than 0.003% passed 0.22-μm membranes. In electron micrographs, the cells were seen replicating by budding and most were 0.6 to 0.9 μm in diameter; but cells between 0.1 and 0.2 μm reproduced. They usually multiplied by producing one bud, a form of binary fission. However, two buds were produced by some synchronized cells, indicating that both nuclei had divided simultaneously to form progeny, an alternate method of multiplication.
PMCID: PMC422389  PMID: 4564675
15.  Studies with Lectins on the Surface Carbohydrate Structures of Mycoplasma Membranes 
Journal of Bacteriology  1974;120(1):81-88.
The surface carbohydrate structures on the cell membranes of various mycoplasma species have been investigated by using lectins, which are sugar-specific proteins. Carbohydrate structures presumably bound to glycolipids, with both galactose and glucose units, were found to be exposed on the surface of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and its temperature-sensitive mutants, M. mycoides var. mycoides and capri, M. pulmonis, M. gallinarum, and M. gallisepticum. Lipid-bound glucose was found on M. neurolyticum. The possible relationship of the lipid-bound surface carbohydrate groups to the known serological cross-reactions and lipid compositions of the various mycoplasma species is discussed. Intact Acholeplasma laidlawii and M. fermentans have no lectin-binding sites exposed on their surfaces; galactose groups were discovered only after Pronase digestion of the organisms, suggesting that their glycolipids are hidden under a protein layer. Neither intact nor Pronase-digested M. hominis reacted with the lectins; this is fully consistent with the lipid composition of this organism, which contains glycolipids. The lectins from Vicia cracca and Phaseolus vulgaris, which react with N-acetyl-galactosamine groups, agglutinated M. gallinarum, M. gallisepticum, M. mycoides var. capri, and M. pulmonis. The agglutinability was lost after Pronase treatment, indicating that the corresponding carbohydrates are presumably protein bound. They may be correlated with the extracellular structures observed by electron microscopy of both sectioned and negatively stained mycoplasma species.
PMCID: PMC245733  PMID: 4138526
16.  A study of F38-type and related mycoplasmas by mycoplasmaemia and cross-immunization tests in mice. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1984;93(3):465-473.
In vivo methods were used to study the F38-type mycoplasma in parallel with related mycoplasmas. Three of five strains of 'bovine serogroup 7' with an unknown history of subculture produced mycoplasmaemia in mice inoculated intraperitoneally. A strain of 'bovine serogroup L' also produced mycoplasmaemia, but no evidence of similar ability could be found for single strains of Mycoplasma capricolum, M. equigenitalium and M. primatum, or for two strains of the F38-type mycoplasma. In cross-immunization tests a bovine serogroup 7 strain (NCTC 10133) and a strain ('Blenheim') of the SC (small colony) type of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides were used for the purpose of challenge. Cross-protection was described as 'complete' or 'partial', depending on whether it was as great as, or less than, that produced by homologous vaccine. Although strain NCTC 10133 protected strongly, possibly completely, against Blenheim, and Blenheim gave partial protection against NCTC 10133, challenge with NCTC 10133 and Blenheim gave strikingly different results. Thus (1) F38-type strains, M equigenitalium and M. primatum all gave partial cross-protection against NCTC 10133 but not against Blenheim, (2) NCTC 10133, unlike Blenheim, was seldom susceptible to partial cross-protection by LC (large colony) strains of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides, and (3) three SC strains - which would have protected completely against Blenheim - protected only partially against NCTC 10133. NCTC 10133 and Blenheim were similar, however, in that M. capricolum and M. mycoides subsp. capri failed to cross-protect against them both.
PMCID: PMC2129469  PMID: 6392418
17.  Mycoplasma mycoides, from "mycoides Small Colony" to "capri". A microevolutionary perspective 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:114.
The Mycoplasma mycoides cluster consists of five species or subspecies that are ruminant pathogens. One subspecies, Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides Small Colony (MmmSC), is the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia. Its very close relative, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri (Mmc), is a more ubiquitous pathogen in small ruminants causing mastitis, arthritis, keratitis, pneumonia and septicaemia and is also found as saprophyte in the ear canal. To understand the genetics underlying these phenotypic differences, we compared the MmmSC PG1 type strain genome, which was already available, with the genome of an Mmc field strain (95010) that was sequenced in this study. We also compared the 95010 genome with the recently published genome of another Mmc strain (GM12) to evaluate Mmc strain diversity.
The MmmSC PG1 genome is 1,212 kbp and that of Mmc 95010 is ca. 58 kbp shorter. Most of the sequences present in PG1 but not 95010 are highly repeated Insertion Sequences (three types of IS) and large duplicated DNA fragments. The 95010 genome contains five types of IS, present in fewer copies than in PG1, and two copies of an integrative conjugative element. These mobile genetic elements have played a key role in genome plasticity, leading to inversions of large DNA fragments. Comparison of the two genomes suggested a marked decay of the PG1 genome that seems to be correlated with a greater number of IS. The repertoire of gene families encoding surface proteins is smaller in PG1. Several genes involved in polysaccharide metabolism and protein degradation are also absent from, or degraded in, PG1.
The genome of MmmSC PG1 is larger than that of Mmc 95010, its very close relative, but has less coding capacity. This is the result of large genetic rearrangements due to mobile elements that have also led to marked gene decay. This is consistent with a non-adaptative genomic complexity theory, allowing duplications or pseudogenes to be maintained in the absence of adaptive selection that would lead to purifying selection and genome streamlining over longer evolutionary times. These findings also suggest that MmmSC only recently adapted to its bovine host.
PMCID: PMC3053259  PMID: 21324191
18.  Comparative genomic and proteomic analyses of two Mycoplasma agalactiae strains: clues to the macro- and micro-events that are shaping mycoplasma diversity 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:86.
While the genomic era is accumulating a tremendous amount of data, the question of how genomics can describe a bacterial species remains to be fully addressed. The recent sequencing of the genome of the Mycoplasma agalactiae type strain has challenged our general view on mycoplasmas by suggesting that these simple bacteria are able to exchange significant amount of genetic material via horizontal gene transfer. Yet, events that are shaping mycoplasma genomes and that are underlining diversity within this species have to be fully evaluated. For this purpose, we compared two strains that are representative of the genetic spectrum encountered in this species: the type strain PG2 which genome is already available and a field strain, 5632, which was fully sequenced and annotated in this study.
The two genomes differ by ca. 130 kbp with that of 5632 being the largest (1006 kbp). The make up of this additional genetic material mainly corresponds (i) to mobile genetic elements and (ii) to expanded repertoire of gene families that encode putative surface proteins and display features of highly-variable systems. More specifically, three entire copies of a previously described integrative conjugative element are found in 5632 that accounts for ca. 80 kbp. Other mobile genetic elements, found in 5632 but not in PG2, are the more classical insertion sequences which are related to those found in two other ruminant pathogens, M. bovis and M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC. In 5632, repertoires of gene families encoding surface proteins are larger due to gene duplication. Comparative proteomic analyses of the two strains indicate that the additional coding capacity of 5632 affects the overall architecture of the surface and suggests the occurrence of new phase variable systems based on single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Overall, comparative analyses of two M. agalactiae strains revealed a very dynamic genome which structure has been shaped by gene flow among ruminant mycoplasmas and expansion-reduction of gene repertoires encoding surface proteins, the expression of which is driven by localized genetic micro-events.
PMCID: PMC2824730  PMID: 20122262
19.  Mycoplasmoses of ruminants in France: recent data from the national surveillance network 
Ruminant mycoplasmoses are important diseases worldwide and several are listed by the World Organization for Animal Health to be of major economic significance. In France the distribution of mycoplasmal species isolated from clinical samples collected from diseased animals upon veterinary request, is monitored by a network known as VIGIMYC (for VIGIlance to MYCoplasmoses of ruminants). The veterinary diagnostic laboratories collaborating with VIGIMYC are responsible for isolating the mycoplasmas while identification of the isolates is centralized by the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) in Lyon. The VIGIMYC framework can also be used for specific surveys and one example, on the prevalence of M. bovis in bovine respiratory diseases, is presented here.
Between 2003 and 2008, 34 laboratories were involved in the network and 1904 mycoplasma isolates, originating from the main ruminant-breeding areas, were identified. For cattle, the high prevalence of M. bovis in bronchopneumonia, notably in young animals, was confirmed by VIGIMYC and an associated specific survey, whereas the non-emergence of species such as M. alkalescens and M. canis was also demonstrated. The etiological agent of bovine contagious pleuropneumonia was never isolated. The principal mycoplasmosis in goats was contagious agalactia with M. mycoides subsp. capri as main agent. Ovine mycoplasmoses, most of which were associated with pneumonia in lambs, were infrequently reported. One exception was ovine contagious agalactia (due to M. agalactiae) that has recently re-emerged in the Pyrénées where it had been endemic for years and was also reported in Corsica, which was previously considered free.
Although VIGIMYC is a passive network and somewhat biased as regards sample collection and processing, it has provided, in this study, an overview of the main mycoplasmoses of ruminants in France. The French epidemiological situation is compared to those existing elsewhere in the world.
PMCID: PMC2892444  PMID: 20525406
20.  Development of loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for specific and rapid detection of differential goat Pox virus and Sheep Pox virus 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:10.
Capripox viruses are economically important pathogens in goat and sheep producing areas of the world, with specific focus on goat pox virus (GTPV), sheep pox virus (SPPV) and the Lumpy Skin Disease virus (LSDV). Clinically, sheep pox and goat pox have the same symptoms and cannot be distinguished serologically. This presents a real need for a rapid, inexpensive, and easy to operate and maintain genotyping tool to facilitate accurate disease diagnosis and surveillance for better management of Capripox outbreaks.
A LAMP method was developed for the specific differential detection of GTPV and SPPV using three sets of LAMP primers designed on the basis of ITR sequences. Reactions were performed at 62°C for either 45 or 60 min, and specificity confirmed by successful differential detection of several GTPV and SPPV isolates. No cross reactivity with Orf virus, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), A. marginale Lushi isolate, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri, Chlamydophila psittaci, Theileria ovis, T. luwenshuni, T. uilenbergi or Babesia sp was noted. RFLP-PCR analysis of 135 preserved epidemic materials revealed 48 samples infected with goat pox and 87 infected with sheep pox, with LAMP test results showing a positive detection for all samples. When utilizing GTPV and SPPV genomic DNA, the universal LAMP primers (GSPV) and GTPV LAMP primers displayed a 100% detection rate; while the SPPV LAMP detection rate was 98.8%, consistent with the laboratory tested results.
In summary, the three sets of LAMP primers when combined provide an analytically robust method able to fully distinguish between GTPV and SPPV. The presented LAMP method provides a specific, sensitive and rapid diagnostic tool for the distinction of GTPV and SPPV infections, with the potential to be standardized as a detection method for Capripox viruses in endemic areas.
PMCID: PMC3942189  PMID: 24438089
Goat pox virus (GTPV); Sheep pox virus (SPPV); Inverted terminal repeat (ITR) regions; Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP); Differential diagnosis
21.  Cyto-adherence of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides to bovine lung epithelial cells 
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (Mmm) is the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), a respiratory disease of cattle, whereas the closely related Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri (Mmc) is a goat pathogen. Cyto-adherence is a crucial step in host colonization by mycoplasmas and subsequent pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between Mmm and mammalian host cells by establishing a cyto-adherence flow cytometric assay and comparing tissue and species specificity of Mmm and Mmc strains.
There were little significant differences in the adherence patterns of eight different Mmm strains to adult bovine lung epithelial cells. However, there was statistically significant variation in binding to different host cells types. Highest binding was observed with lung epithelial cells, intermediate binding with endothelial cells and very low binding with fibroblasts, suggesting the presence of effective adherence of Mmm on cells lining the airways of the lung, which is the target organ for this pathogen, possibly by high expression of a specific receptor. However, binding to bovine fetal lung epithelial cells was comparably low; suggesting that the lack of severe pulmonary disease seen in many infected young calves can be explained by reduced expression of a specific receptor.
Mmm bound with high efficiency to adult bovine lung cells and less efficiently to calves or goat lung cells. The data show that cyto-adherence of Mmm is species- and tissue- specific confirming its role in colonization of the target host and subsequent infection and development of CBPP.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12917-015-0347-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4336739
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides; Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia; Cyto-adherence; Epithelial cells
22.  Large-Quantity Production of Chicken Embryo Tracheal Organ Cultures and Use in Virus and Mycoplasma Studies 
Applied Microbiology  1970;19(4):658-662.
Chicken tracheal organ cultures were made from embryos which were 19 to 20 days old. Transversely cut rings of trachea were placed in screw-capped tissue-culture tubes with Eagle's-N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N′-2-ethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) medium and incubated in roller drums. The method had advantages over other organ culture systems in that these cultures were prepared in numbers similar to conventional tissue cultures, ciliary activity was quickly and accurately evaluated, and contamination occurred less frequently than with organ cultures in petri dishes. Ciliary activity persisted for at least 1 month when the medium was changed at 5-to 7-day intervals and for 10 to 15 days without a change. Infectious bronchitis virus stopped ciliary movement, and this effect was used as a basis for titrating the virus and for determining the neutralizing capacity of immune mouse ascitic fluid. Twenty-four Mycoplasma strains were tested. Organisms of 17 strains, both avian and mammalian, multiplied in the organ cultures, and 7 strains, belonging to the species M. gallisepticum and M. mycoides var. capri, inhibited ciliary activity.
PMCID: PMC376757  PMID: 5463183
23.  Variant colony surface antigenic phenotypes within mycoplasma strain populations: implications for species identification and strain standardization. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(1):149-158.
Immunobinding assays with mycoplasma colonies on agar plates (immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase techniques) or with imprints of colonies transferred to solid supports (colony immunoblotting) are widely used as standard diagnostic tests for serological species identification of mycoplasma isolates. However, in light of the high rate of variability of surface antigens in many mycoplasmas, diagnostic data obtained with these techniques require a more critical evaluation. In this report, we demonstrate with some examples that mycoplasma surface variability based on alterations in expression, in size, and in surface presentation of integral and peripheral membrane proteins may lead to misinterpretation of colony immunostaining reactions obtained by using specific monoclonal antibodies as well as conventional diagnostic hyperimmune sera. To more easily identify phenotypically mixed isolates or samples which contain more than one species, we have introduced some minor modifications of the colony immunoblot technique which provide sharp signals of positive as well as negative reactions and enable identification of cryptic epitopes. It is further demonstrated that because of the variability in colony surface antigenic phenotype, mycoplasma strains, including well-established reference and other prototype strains which are used under the same designation in many laboratories, can differ markedly in their antigen profiles and their potentially virulence-related surface properties, since they are usually purified by filter cloning and often propagated by subcultivation of randomly selected agar-grown subpopulations. We conclude from this study that because of this surface variability, the establishment of criteria for standardization of mycoplasma strains and diagnostic antisera is urgently required in order to obtain reproducible results in different laboratories.
PMCID: PMC228749  PMID: 8748292
24.  Distribution of a Phosphoenolpyruvate-Dependent Sugar Phosphotransferase System in Mycoplasmas 
Journal of Bacteriology  1973;113(1):212-217.
A survey of 10 mycoplasma strains has shown that their capacity to accumulate radioactivity from α-methyl-d-glucopyranoside depends on the activity of a phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system (PTS), and that this system endows the organisms with a high affinity for glucose as a fermentation substrate. PTS activity was found in Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. mycoides var. mycoides, and M. mycoides var. capri, but in none of the fermentative Acholeplasma strains nor in some of the nonfermentative Mycoplasma species. Partial characterization of the PTS of M. mycoides var. capri has shown that, like the PTS of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, it is strictly dependent on phosphoenolpyruvate as a phosphoryl donor and on componenets of both the cytoplasm and the membrane.
PMCID: PMC251620  PMID: 4688137
25.  Monoclonal antibodies to surface-exposes proteins of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides (small-colony strain), which causes contagious bovine pleuropneumonia. 
Outbreaks of bovine pleuropneumonia caused by small-colony strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides occur in Africa, and vaccination is used for control. Since protein subunits are needed to improve multivalent vaccines, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were made to facilitate protein identification and isolation. Eleven immunoglobulin M MAbs derived from mouse spleen donors immunized with disrupted whole organisms bound periodate-sensitive epitopes on externally exposed polysaccharide. Seven of these MAbs caused in vitro growth inhibition of M. mycoides subsp. mycoides; however, reaction with carbohydrate epitopes prevented their use in identifying proteins. Ten additional MAbs from mouse spleen donors immunized with Triton X-114-phase integral membrane proteins reacted with periodate-insensitive, proteinase K-sensitive epitopes. These MAbs were classified into three groups based on immunoblots of Triton X-114-phase proteins. One group reacted with 96-, 16-, and 15-kDa proteins. Another group reacted with 26-, 21-, and 16-kDa proteins, while a third group reacted only with 26- and 21-kDa proteins. One MAb from each group reacted with trypsinsensitive epitopes on live organisms, yet none caused in vitro growth inhibition. Representative MAbs reacted with all small-colony strains in immunoblots and did not react with large colony strains. However, these MAbs were not specific for small-colony strains, as proteins from two other M. mycoides cluster organisms were identified. Nevertheless, MAbs to surface-exposed epitopes on integral membrane proteins will be useful for isolation of these proteins for immunization, since one or more might induce growth-inhibiting antibodies or other protective responses.
PMCID: PMC170441  PMID: 8914769

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