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1.  Distinctive Repertoire of Contingency Genes Conferring Mutation- Based Phase Variation and Combinatorial Expression of Surface Lipoproteins in Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum of the Mycoplasma mycoides Phylogenetic Cluster†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(13):4926-4941.
The generation of surface variation among many divergent species of Mollicutes (mycoplasmas) occurs through stochastic expression patterns of diverse lipoprotein genes. The size and wide distribution of such variable gene sets in minimal (∼0.6- to 1.4-Mb) mycoplasmal genomes suggest their key role in the adaptation and survival of these wall-less monoderms. Diversity through variable genes is less clearly established among phylogenetically similar mycoplasmas, such as the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster of ruminant pathogens, which vary widely in host range and pathobiology. Using (i) genome sequences from two members of this clade, Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony biotype (SC), (ii) antibodies to specific peptide determinants of predicted M. capricolum subsp. capricolum gene products, and (iii) analysis of the membrane-associated proteome of M. capricolum subsp. capricolum, a novel set of six genes (vmcA to vmcF) expressing distinct Vmc (variable M. capricolum subsp. capricolum) lipoproteins is demonstrated. These occur at two separate loci in the M. capricolum subsp. capricolum genome, which shares striking overall similarity and gene synteny with the M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC genome. Collectively, Vmc expression is noncoordinate and combinatorial, subject to a single-unit insertion/deletion in a 5′ flanking dinucleotide repeat that governs expression of each vmc gene. All vmc genes share modular regions affecting expression and membrane translocation. In contrast, vmcA to vmcD genes at one locus express surface proteins with highly structured size-variable repeating domains, whereas vmcE to vmcF genes express products with short repeats devoid of predicted structure. These genes confer a distinctive, dynamic surface architecture that may represent adaptive differences within this important group of pathogens as well as exploitable diagnostic targets.
doi:10.1128/JB.00252-06
PMCID: PMC1483001  PMID: 16788201
2.  The Origin of the ‘Mycoplasma mycoides Cluster’ Coincides with Domestication of Ruminants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e36150.
The ‘Mycoplasma mycoides cluster’ comprises the ruminant pathogens Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides the causative agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae the agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum, Mycoplasma leachii and Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri. CBPP and CCPP are major livestock diseases and impact the agricultural sector especially in developing countries through reduced food-supply and international trade restrictions. In addition, these diseases are a threat to disease-free countries. We used a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach to gain insights into the demographic history of and phylogenetic relationships among the members of the ‘M. mycoides cluster’. We collected partial sequences from seven housekeeping genes representing a total of 3,816 base pairs from 118 strains within this cluster, and five strains isolated from wild Caprinae. Strikingly, the origin of the ‘M. mycoides cluster’ dates to about 10,000 years ago, suggesting that the establishment and spread of the cluster coincided with livestock domestication. In addition, we show that hybridization and recombination may be important factors in the evolutionary history of the cluster.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036150
PMCID: PMC3338596  PMID: 22558362
3.  Versatile Use of oriC Plasmids for Functional Genomics of Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum†  
Replicative oriC plasmids were recently developed for several mollicutes, including three Mycoplasma species belonging to the mycoides cluster that are responsible for bovine and caprine diseases: Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides large-colony type, and Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum. In this study, oriC plasmids were evaluated in M. capricolum subsp. capricolum as genetic tools for (i) expression of heterologous proteins and (ii) gene inactivation by homologous recombination. The reporter gene lacZ, encoding β-galactosidase, and the gene encoding spiralin, an abundant surface lipoprotein of the related mollicute Spiroplasma citri, were successfully expressed. Functional Escherichia coli β-galactosidase was detected in transformed Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum cells despite noticeable codon usage differences. The expression of spiralin in M. capricolum subsp. capricolum was assessed by colony and Western blotting. Accessibility of this protein at the cell surface and its partition into the Triton X-114 detergent phase suggest a correct maturation of the spiralin precursor. The expression of a heterologous lipoprotein in a mycoplasma raises potentially interesting applications, e.g., the use of these bacteria as live vaccines. Targeted inactivation of gene lppA encoding lipoprotein A was achieved in M. capricolum subsp. capricolum with plasmids harboring a replication origin derived from S. citri. Our results suggest that the selection of the infrequent events of homologous recombination could be enhanced by the use of oriC plasmids derived from related mollicute species. Mycoplasma gene inactivation opens the way to functional genomics in a group of bacteria for which a large wealth of genome data are already available and steadily growing.
doi:10.1128/AEM.71.6.2888-2893.2005
PMCID: PMC1151838  PMID: 15932982
4.  Host specificity of mollicutes oriC plasmids: functional analysis of replication origin 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(22):6610-6618.
Recently, artificial oriC plasmids containing the chromosomal dnaA gene and surrounding DnaA box sequences were obtained for the mollicutes Spiroplasma citri and Mycoplasma pulmonis. In order to study the specificity of these plasmids among mollicutes, a set of similar oriC plasmids was developed for three mycoplasmas belonging to the mycoides cluster, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides LC (MmmLC), M.mycoides subsp. mycoides SC (MmmSC) and Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum. Mycoplasmas from the mycoides cluster, S.citri and M.pulmonis were used as recipients for transformation experiments by homologous and heterologous oriC plasmids. All five mollicutes were successfully transformed by homologous plasmids, suggesting that the dnaA gene region represents the functional replication origin of the mollicute chromosomes. However, the ability of mollicutes to replicate heterologous oriC plasmids was found to vary noticeably with the species. For example, the oriC plasmid from M.capricolum did not replicate in the closely related species MmmSC and MmmLC. In contrast, plasmids harbouring the oriC from MmmSC, MmmLC and the more distant species S.citri were all found to replicate in M.capricolum. Our results suggest that the cis-elements present in oriC sequences are not the only determinants of this host specificity.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkg848
PMCID: PMC275544  PMID: 14602921
5.  Molecular Evolution of Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae Strains, Based on Polymorphisms in the 16S rRNA Genes 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(9):2350-2358.
Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae belongs to the so-called Mycoplasma mycoides cluster and is the causal agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). All members of the M. mycoides cluster have two rRNA operons. The sequences of the 16S rRNA genes of both rRNA operons from 20 strains of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae of different geographical origins in Africa and Asia were determined. Nucleotide differences which were present in only one of the two operons (polymorphisms) were detected in 24 positions. The polymorphisms were not randomly distributed in the 16S rRNA genes, and some of them were found in regions of low evolutionary variability. Interestingly, 11 polymorphisms were found in all the M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae strains, thus defining a putative ancestor. A sequence length difference between the 16S rRNA genes in a poly(A) region and 12 additional polymorphisms were found in only one or some of the strains. A phylogenetic tree was constructed by comparative analysis of the polymorphisms, and this tree revealed two distinct lines of descent. The nucleotide substitution rate of strains within line II was up to 50% higher than within line I. A tree was also constructed from individual operonal 16S rRNA sequences, and the sequences of the two operons were found to form two distinct clades. The topologies of both clades were strikingly similar, which supports the use of 16S rRNA sequence data from homologous operons for phylogenetic studies. The strain-specific polymorphism patterns of the 16S rRNA genes of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae may be used as epidemiological markers for CCPP.
PMCID: PMC107175  PMID: 9573185
6.  Rapid Detection of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia Using a Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae Capsular Polysaccharide-Specific Antigen Detection Latex Agglutination Test 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(11):4152-4159.
Latex microspheres (diameter, 8 μm) were coated with anti-Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) antiserum (anti-F38 biotype). The coated microspheres, when used in a latex agglutination test (LAT), detected M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae antigen in the serum of goats with contagious caprine pleuropneumoniae (CCPP). Beads also agglutinated strongly in the presence of purified M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae capsular polysaccharide (CPS). Preabsorption of CPS-specific antibodies prior to coating of the beads removed agglutinating activity in the presence of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae, strongly suggesting that CPS is the likely soluble antigen recognized by the test. In addition, the specificity of the LAT exactly mirrored that of an M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae CPS-specific monoclonal antibody (WM25): of the 8 other mycoplasma species tested, agglutination was observed only with bovine serogroup 7. The LAT detected all 11 strains of M. capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae examined in this study, with a sensitivity level of 2 ng of CPS, or the equivalent of 1.7 × 104 CFU, in a reaction volume of 0.03 ml of serum. With field sera from goats with CCPP, the results of the LAT exhibited a 67% correlation with the results of the currently used complement fixation test (CFT), with the main discrepancy in diagnosis resulting from the increased sensitivity of the LAT compared to that of CFT. This antigen-detection LAT should prove particularly useful in identifying animals in the earliest stages of CCPP and combines sensitivity and low cost with ease of application in the field, without the need for any specialist training or equipment.
PMCID: PMC87556  PMID: 11060083
7.  Ribosomal RNA genes in Mycoplasma. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1982;10(14):4215-4222.
Using Southern blotting analysis with labelled mycoplasmal ribosomal RNA as probe, two fragments (1 Kb and 5 Kb) were detected in an EcoR I digest of Mycoplasma capricolum DNA. This analysis revealed that the 5 Kb fragment carries both 16S rRNA sequences and the entire 23S rRNA gene of this mycoplasma. The 1 Kb fragment contains 16S rRNA sequences only. The 5 Kb EcoR I fragment has been cloned and used to characterize the structure of rRNA cistrons in various Mycoplasma strains. These experiments clearly demonstrate a substantial homology of Mycoplasma capricolum rRNA sequences with the E. coli rRNA cistron on one hand, and with Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri and Acholeplasma laidlawii on the other hand. This analysis also reveals two rRNA cistrons in Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri and Acholeplasma laidlawii whereas one rRNA cistron is present in Mycoplasma capricolum.
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PMCID: PMC320794  PMID: 6289267
8.  Diagnosis of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia by detection and identification of Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae by PCR and restriction enzyme analysis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(4):785-791.
Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), one of the most serious and dramatic diseases of goats, is caused by Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (M. capripneumoniae). This organism is very difficult to isolate and to correctly identify. In a previous report we described a method for the rapid detection and identification of M. capripneumoniae. This method is based on a PCR system by which a segment of the 16S rRNA gene from all mycoplasmas of the M. mycoides cluster can be amplified. The PCR product is then analyzed by restriction enzyme cleavage for the identification of M. capripneumoniae DNA. This system has now been further evaluated with respect to specificity and diagnostic efficacy for the identification and direct detection of the organism in clinical material. Identification by restriction enzyme analysis of amplified DNA from mycoplasmas of the M. mycoides cluster was verified for 55 strains, among which were 15 strains of M. capripneumoniae. The PCR was applied to clinical samples from the nose, ear, pharynx, pleural fluid, and lung tissue containing M. capripneumoniae or other mycoplasmas. As expected, mycoplasmas belonging to the M. mycoides cluster could be detected by the PCR. Restriction enzyme analysis of the PCR products could then be applied for the identification of M. capripneumoniae. Clinical samples and cultures containing M. capripneumoniae were dried on filter paper, to try an easier sample transport method, and were tested by PCR. M. capripneumoniae DNA could be detected in the dried specimens, but the sensitivity of the PCR test was reduced.
PMCID: PMC228893  PMID: 8815084
9.  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.
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PMCID: PMC2129495  PMID: 2410491
10.  A survey of Mycoplasma agalactiae in dairy sheep farms in Spain 
Background
Contagious Agalactia (CA) is one of the major animal health problems in small ruminants because of its economic significance. Currently, four Mycoplasma spp. have been associated with this syndrome: M. agalactiae, M. mycoides subsp. capri, M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. putrefaciens. Their presence has been evaluated in several studies conducted in CA-endemic countries. However, previous Spanish studies have been focused on caprine CA, and there is a knowledge gap regarding which Mycoplasma species are present in sheep flocks from Spain, which has the second highest number of sheep amongst the 27 European Union member states. Consequently, we investigated the presence and geographic distribution of the four CA-causing mycoplasmas in Spanish dairy sheep farms. This is the first time such an investigation has been performed.
Results
Three hundred thirty nine out of 922 sheep flocks were positive for M. agalactiae by real time PCR (36.8%) and 85 by microbiological identification (9.2%). Interestingly, all 597 milk samples assessed for the presence of M. mycoides subsp. capri, M. capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. putrefaciens tested negative. To evaluate the intermittent excretion of the pathogen in milk, we sampled 391 additional farms from 2 to 5 times, resulting that in 26.3% of the cases a previously positive farm tested negative in a later sampling.
Conclusions
M. agalactiae was the only Mycoplasma species detected in the study area showing a high frequency of presence and wide distribution. Therefore, the establishment of a permanent surveillance network is advantageous, as well as the implementation of control and prevention measures to hinder the dissemination of M. agalactiae and to prevent the entrance of other Mycoplasma species.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-171
PMCID: PMC3514350  PMID: 23006445
Mycoplasma agalactiae; Contagious agalactia; Real time PCR; Sheep; Dairy; Spain
11.  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
12.  Variable Surface Protein Vmm of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides Small Colony Type 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(13):3712-3722.
A variable surface protein, Vmm, of the bovine pathogen Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony type (M. mycoides SC) has been identified and characterized. Vmm was specific for the SC biotype and was expressed by 68 of 69 analyzed M. mycoides SC strains. The protein was found to undergo reversible phase variation at a frequency of 9 × 10−4 to 5 × 10−5 per cell per generation. The vmm gene was present in all of the 69 tested M. mycoides SC strains and encodes a lipoprotein precursor of 59 amino acids (aa), where the mature protein was predicted to be 36 aa and was anchored to the membrane by only the lipid moiety, as no transmembrane region could be identified. DNA sequencing of the vmm gene region from ON and OFF clones showed that the expression of Vmm was regulated at the transcriptional level by dinucleotide insertions or deletions in a repetitive region of the promoter spacer. Vmm-like genes were also found in four closely related mycoplasmas, Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum, M. capricolum subsp . capripneumoniae, Mycoplasma sp. bovine serogroup 7, and Mycoplasma putrefaciens. However, Vmm could not be detected in whole-cell lysates of these species, suggesting that the proteins encoded by the vmm-like genes lack the binding epitope for the monoclonal antibody used in this study or, alternatively, that the Vmm-like proteins were not expressed.
doi:10.1128/JB.184.13.3712-3722.2002
PMCID: PMC135138  PMID: 12057968
13.  Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri associated with goat respiratory disease and high flock mortality 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2006;47(4):366-369.
Abstract
A high mortality outbreak of respiratory mycoplasmosis occurred in goats in Mexico. The clinicopathologic presentation resembled contagious caprine pleuropneumonia caused by Mycoplasma capricolum subspecies capripneumoniae. By using a battery of polymerase chain reaction assays, the mycoplasma associated with this outbreak was identified as Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri.
PMCID: PMC1405827  PMID: 16642877
14.  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
15.  An international collaborative study to determine the prevalence of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia by monoclonal antibody-based cELISA 
Background
Few serological tests are available for detecting antibodies against Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae, the causal agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). The complement fixation test, the test prescribed for international trade purposes, uses a crude antigen that cross-reacts with all the other mycoplasma species of the “mycoides cluster” frequently infecting goat herds. The lack of a more specific test has been a real obstacle to the evaluation of the prevalence and economic impact of CCPP worldwide. A new competitive ELISA kit for CCPP, based on a previous blocking ELISA, was formatted at CIRAD and used to evaluate the prevalence of CCPP in some regions of Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tajikistan and Pakistan in an international collaborative study.
Results
The strict specificity of the test was confirmed in CCPP-free goat herds exposed to other mycoplasma species of the “mycoides cluster”. Prevalence studies were performed across the enzootic range of the disease in Africa and Asia. Seroprevalence was estimated at 14.6% in the Afar region of Ethiopia, whereas all the herds presented for CCPP vaccination in Kenya tested positive (individual seroprevalence varied from 6 to 90% within each herd). In Mauritius, where CCPP emerged in 2009, nine of 62 herds tested positive. In Central Asia, where the disease was confirmed only recently, no positive animals were detected in the Wakhan District of Afghanistan or across the border in neighboring areas of Tajikistan, whereas seroprevalence varied between 2.7% and 44.2% in the other districts investigated and in northern Pakistan. The test was also used to monitor seroconversion in vaccinated animals.
Conclusions
This newly formatted CCPP cELISA kit has retained the high specificity of the original kit. It can therefore be used to evaluate the prevalence of CCPP in countries or regions without vaccination programs. It could also be used to monitor the efficacy of vaccination campaigns as high-quality vaccines induce high rates of seroconversion.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-48
PMCID: PMC3938968  PMID: 24565080
Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia; Competitive ELISA; Seroprevalence; Kenya; Ethiopia; Mauritius; Tajikistan; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Vaccine quality control
16.  Complete Genome Sequences of Mycoplasma leachii Strain PG50T and the Pathogenic Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides Small Colony Biotype Strain Gladysdale 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(16):4448-4449.
Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small colony biotype (SC) is the high-consequence animal pathogen causing contagious bovine pleuropneumonia. We report the complete genome sequences of the pathogenic strain M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC Gladysdale and a close phylogenetic relative, Mycoplasma leachii PG50T, another bovine pathogen of the M. mycoides phylogenetic clade.
doi:10.1128/JB.00761-12
PMCID: PMC3416226  PMID: 22843585
17.  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.
doi:10.1128/CDLI.10.2.233-240.2003
PMCID: PMC150542  PMID: 12626448
18.  Diagnosis of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia by PCR–Laser- Induced Fluorescence and PCR-Restriction Endonuclease Analysis Based on the 16S rRNA Genes of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(12):3815-3821.
As contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is spreading fast in many African countries, there is an increasing demand for rapid and sensitive diagnostic methods that can be used to confirm the initial diagnosis based on clinical symptoms or pathological findings. Two PCR-based diagnostic systems for identification of the infectious agent, Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC (M. mycoides SC), in various samples are presented. Both systems involve group-specific amplification of the two 16S rRNA genes from mycoplasmas of the M. mycoides cluster. The laser-induced fluorescence assay is based on a unique sequence length difference between the two 16S rRNA genes in M. mycoides SC. This region was amplified by PCR, and the products were separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in a DNA sequencer. The resulting electropherogram showed two peaks for strains of M. mycoides SC and one peak for all other members of the M. mycoides cluster. The second system was based on restriction endonuclease analysis and agarose gel electrophoresis. Restriction of amplicons from a region containing a polymorphism, which is found in M. mycoides SC only, resulted in an extra band on the agarose gel because an AluI site is lacking in the rrnA operon. Specimens from cows with postmortem signs of CBPP were analyzed with the two PCR systems. M. mycoides SC was clearly identified in pleural fluid and lung tissue, and the methods were found to be robust and rapid. The results were in agreement with those obtained by conventional diagnostic techniques.
PMCID: PMC85820  PMID: 10565890
19.  Mycoplasma mycoides, from "mycoides Small Colony" to "capri". A microevolutionary perspective 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:114.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-114
PMCID: PMC3053259  PMID: 21324191
20.  Characterization of the 16S rRNA genes from Mycoplasma sp. strain F38 and development of an identification system based on PCR. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1994;176(9):2577-2586.
Mycoplasma sp. (strain F38) is the causative agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia, which is a goat disease of great global concern. Strain F38 belongs to the so-called "Mycoplasma mycoides cluster," and the members of this cluster have many biochemical and serological properties in common, which makes it difficult to differentiate between them by conventional methods. Their phylogenetic interrelationship are thus uncertain. The 16S rRNA gene of the rrnB operon from strain F38 was cloned and sequenced. The sequence was compared with the 16S rRNA sequences of related mycoplasmas, and phylogenetic trees were constructed by parsimony analysis. A three-way ambiguity among strain F38, Mycoplasma capricolum, and Mycoplasma sp. strain PG50 was observed in the trees. This observation is in agreement with a recent proposal to reclassify strain F38 and M. capricolum. A primer set was designed for in vitro amplification by PCR of a fragment of the 16S rRNA genes from the M. mycoides cluster. The amplimers of strain F38 could be distinguished easily from the corresponding amplimers from other members of the M. mycoides cluster by restriction enzyme analysis with PstI. This observation was utilized to design an identification system for strain F38. Part of the 16S rRNA gene of the rrnA operon from strain F38 was also cloned, and several sequence differences between the two rRNA operons were discovered, revealing microheterogeneity between the two 16S rRNA genes of this organism.
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PMCID: PMC205395  PMID: 8169205
21.  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
22.  Multi-locus sequence analysis of mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae for the molecular epidemiology of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia 
Veterinary Research  2011;42(1):86.
Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (Mccp) is the causative agent of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), a devastating disease of domestic goats. The exact distribution of CCPP is not known but it is present in Africa and the Middle East and represents a significant threat to many disease-free areas including Europe. Furthermore, CCPP has been recently identified in Tajikistan and China. A typing method with an improved resolution based on Multi-Locus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) has been developed to trace new epidemics and to elucidate whether the recently identified cases in continental Asia were due to recent importation of Mccp. The H2 locus, a polymorphic region already in use as a molecular marker for Mccp evolution, was complemented with seven new loci selected according to the analysis of polymorphisms observed among the genome sequences of three Mccp strains. A total of 25 strains, including the two new strains from Asia, were analysed by MLSA resulting in the discrimination of 15 sequence types based on 53 polymorphic positions. A distance tree inferred from the concatenated sequences of the eight selected loci revealed two evolutionary lineages comprising five groups, which showed good correlation with geographic origins. The presence of a distinct Asian cluster strongly indicates that CCPP was not recently imported to continental Asia. It is more likely that the disease has been endemic in the area for a long time, as supported by historical clinical descriptions. In conclusion, this MLSA strategy constitutes a highly discriminative tool for the molecular epidemiology of CCPP.
doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-86
PMCID: PMC3177781  PMID: 21756321
23.  Genomic differences between type strain PG1 and field strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type 
Genomics  2006;88(5):633-641.
The recently accomplished complete genomic sequence analysis of the type strain PG1 of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type revealed four large repeated segments of 24, 13, 12, and 8 kb that are flanked by insertion sequence (IS) elements. Genetic analysis of type strain PG1 and African, European, and Australian field and vaccine strains revealed that the 24-kb genetic locus is repeated only in PG1 and not in other M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC strains. In contrast, the 13-kb genetic locus was found duplicated in some strains originating from Africa and Australia but not in strains that were isolated from the European outbreaks. The 12- and 8-kb genetic loci were found in two and three copies, respectively, in all 28 strains analyzed. The flanking IS elements are assumed to lead to these tandem duplications, thus contributing to genomic plasticity. This aspect must be considered when designing novel diagnostic approaches and recombinant vaccines.
doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2006.06.018
PMCID: PMC1798306  PMID: 16919417
Genomic plasticity; M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC; Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia; Repeated segments
24.  Genomic differences between type strain PG1 and field strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type 
Genomics  2006;88(5):633-641.
The recently accomplished complete genomic sequence analysis of the type strain PG1 of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides small-colony type revealed four large repeated segments of 24, 13, 12, and 8 kb that are flanked by insertion sequence (IS) elements. Genetic analysis of type strain PG1 and African, European, and Australian field and vaccine strains revealed that the 24-kb genetic locus is repeated only in PG1 and not in other M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC strains. In contrast, the 13-kb genetic locus was found duplicated in some strains originating from Africa and Australia but not in strains that were isolated from the European outbreaks. The 12- and 8-kb genetic loci were found in two and three copies, respectively, in all 28 strains analyzed. The flanking IS elements are assumed to lead to these tandem duplications, thus contributing to genomic plasticity. This aspect must be considered when designing novel diagnostic approaches and recombinant vaccines.
doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2006.06.018
PMCID: PMC1798306  PMID: 16919417
Genomic plasticity; M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC; Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia; Repeated segments
25.  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

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