The fact that Mycoplasmas have a unambiguously little genome and miss a cell wall would likely do us see these pathogens to be harmless, but on the contrary, these pathogens have evolved to last in altering environments and accommodating to them even after being fastidious in their demands. This essay discussed the pathogenesis of these beings and their complex interactions with the host. These beings have developed a parasitic manner of life so as to last with such a little genome. They depend on the host for indispensable foods and compete with the host cells for the same. Even after depending on the host cell for its foods, these beings are able to do diseases in their hosts by interacting with the host cells and hedging the immune system, as is concluded from this essay.


Mycoplasmas represent the smallest self-replicating beings, in footings of cellular dimensions and genome size that are capable of a cell-free being[ 1 ].They are parasitic bacteriums that lack a cell wall and are known to hold the smallest genome size of 540-1300kb.

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Mycoplasmas belong to the category Mollicutes, separated from the other walled bacterial species. They were considered to be viruses when they were foremost discovered since they were able to go through through filters which could retain bacterial cells. However, unlike viruses, mycoplasmal cells are able to turn in cell-free media and contain RNA and DNA as their familial stuff[ 2 ]. Due to their little genome these beings were considered as the crude beings, nevertheless, there is solid familial support from nucleic acerb hybridisation and sequencing surveies which indicate that these beings are derived from a subdivision of Gram-positive bacteriums[ 3 ]. Their endurance with such a little genome was made possible by following a parasitic manner of life. It is hypothesised that the cell wall-encoding cistrons were lost during reductive development, where the size of their genome was greatly reduced, retaining those cistrons that were indispensable for life as seen in the contemporary Mycoplasmas[ 4 ].Besides holding an exceptionally little genome, the Mycoplasmal DNA base-composition is alone. The A-T content of their Deoxyribonucleic acid is highly high, unlike in other beings.

Besides, UGA is a stop codon is most organisms, but it encodes for the amino acid, tryptophan in most mycoplasmas[ 5 ]. Due to the restricting cryptography capacity of the mycoplasmal genome, they lack many metabolic tracts that are required for energy production and for the synthesis of many bacteria-specific enzymes. Cell wall absence in Mycoplasma enables them to hold an elastic form ; they are bound by a individual sterol-containing bilayered membraneaˆ•a really important characteristic to their existence.A The interior cusp of the bilayer is phospholipid ; the outer cusp is composed of lipoproteins[ 6 ]. As seen from table.1, these two characteristics are alone to Mycoplasmas, assisting the being to last within the host.Alone characteristicFeature in other bacteriumsAdvantage in MycoplasmaDisadvantage in mycoplasmaCell wall absentCell wall nowadaysElastic shape-filamentous, coccoidal, spherical, or granularaˆ•depending on the species every bit good as the media that they are grown in[ 7 ]Physical stableness due to elastic formSusceptible to desiccationLimited to parasitic manner of life, hence follow a rigorous host and tissue specificity.

Sterol-containing cell membraneSterols absent in cell membraneCell membrane extremely stable-steroids cut down membrane fluidness and flexibleness[ 8 ]Sterols contain lipoglycans that aid in motion by their adhesive belongingss with host cells8Facilitate fond regard to the surface receptors of carnal cells.Not synthesised by being, hence dependant on host tissue ( acquired as cholesterin ) 8

Table.1 Unique characteristics of mycoplasmas: The absence of a cell wall and a steroid alcohol incorporating cell membrane. These characteristics have their ain advantages and disadvantages, as listed above ; nevertheless, they still help these beings to last within the hosts.

Mycoplasmas as a pathogen

Mycoplasmas are human urinogenital and respiratory piece of land parasites that adhere to epithelial cell surfaces via surface antigens present on their cell membrane, doing attachment a major virulency factor[ 9 ]. A In the absence of a cell wall, the bulk of Mycoplasmal surface-variable antigens are lipoproteins. Some surface proteins undergo self-generated antigenic fluctuation, as discussed farther through the essay. They attach themselves to specific receptors on the host cells, bring forthing no symptoms, hence their infection can travel undetected[ 10 ].

Due to the deficiency of a cell wall, it is really hard to insulate and corroborate the presence of Mycoplasma in the research lab. Merely after other pathogens are eliminated as the cause of disease, is Mycoplasma considered as a cause and treated straight. I?-lactams which prevent cell wall synthesis are uneffective on Mycoplasmas ; hence macrolides and Achromycins are used for treatment2. Mycoplasmas are normally detected via direct DNA discolorations, ELISA and autoradiography, but PCR trials are known to be most accurate.

There are over 200 species of Mycoplasmas, widely distributed in worlds, craniate animate beings and plants1. Most are innocuous and harmless, populating as parasites chiefly in the respiratory and urinogenital piece of lands of animate beings and worlds. However, these innocuous species may worsen secondary infections, if triggered. Table2 summarises few infective mycoplasma species and the scope of diseases caused by them.HostPrimary site of colonisationDiseaseM.bovisCattlesRespiratorypiece of landPneumonia,mastitisM.mycoidesCattlesRespiratory piece of landcontagious bovine pleuropneumoniaM.fermentansHumanUrinogenital piece of landGulf war syndrome, autoimmune diseasesM.

genitaliumHumanUrinogenital piece of landUrethritisM.hominisHumanUrinogenital piece of landPostpartum febrility, localised abscesses in immunosuppressed patients.M.penetransHumanUrinogenital and Respiratory piece of landAidss in impairment of immune system in HIVM.pirumHumanUrinogenital piece of landUrinogenital infectionsM.

pneumoniaeHumanRespiratory piece of landAtypical pneumonia, asthma, CNS upsetsM.pulmonisRatsRespiratory piece of landMycoplasmosisM.capricolumGoatsRespiratory piece of landRespiratory diseases

Table.2: Infective Mycoplasma species that infect different hosts3

Mycoplasma pneumoniae histories for 10 % of all pneumonia instances and is known for exciting the production of autoantibodies, taking to secondary manifestations.

Fig.1 shows a chest radiogram of M.pneumoniae septic lungs.

In this essay I discussed the schemes employed by Mycoplasma while interacting with host eucaryotic cells and with the cells of the immune system, concentrating on Mycoplasma pneumonia, an extracellular parasite in worlds.Fig.1. Chest radiogram of an untypical pneumonia patient with bilateral patchy alveolar opacities of the lower lobes.A Taken from: MarrieA TJ.

Communityaˆ?acquired pneumonia.A A Clin Infect Dis. 1994 ; 18: p.501

Mycoplasmas ‘ relationship with the host

Even though Mycoplasmas are known to happen innocuously in the respiratory piece of land and urinogenital piece of land of worlds, they are known to do or be a important co-factor to many other diseases like Crohn ‘s disease, nongonoccal urethritis, asthma and arthritic arthritis. Many Mycoplasmal species are innocuously present extracellularly ; nevertheless, some species can occupy the host cells and shack intracellularly, doing diseases.

Mycoplasmal fond regard to their mark cells is a cardinal measure in tissue colonisation and disease oncoming[ 11 ]. M.pneumoniae and M.genetalium have developed a complex terminus construction called fond regard cell organ which assists in polar localisation of surface proteins called adhesins, leting attachment via interactions with receptors on the host cell surface[ 12 ]. Adhesins on the fond regard cell organ bind the parasite to sialoglycolipid receptors at the base of the cilia on the epithelial cell surface with the aid of sialic acid residues that are present on the respiratory epithelial cells of the host. A 170-kilodalton ( kDa ) protein, called P1 is the major adhesin while a 30-kDa protein called P30, a transmembrane protein, is besides dumbly clustered at the M.

pneumoniae fond regard cell organ, helping in the cytadherence procedure. The presence of multiple adhesins suggests that there are multiple receptors for M.pneumoniae on the host cell surface which allows the being to adhere[ 13 ]. Fig.2 shows a conventional diagram of M.

pneumoniae adhering to the ciliary epithelial tissue.Fig. 2 Conventional presentation of aA M pneumoniaeA being attaching to the surface of the ciliary tracheal epithelial tissue via the fond regard cell organ, as seen by electron microscopy of a thin subdivision taken from:Baron, Samuel 1996.

“ Mycoplasmas. “ A Medical Microbiology. 4th erectile dysfunction. New York: Churchill LivingstoneThe P1 adhesin is encoded by the P1 cistron which is portion of a three-gene operon. This operon has 3 open-reading frames: ORF-4, P1, ORF-6.

Sequence and size analysis of these cistrons indicated that they encode a 28kDa, 170kDa and a 130kDa protein severally[ 14 ]. While proving for the protein encoded by ORF-6, it was determined that two proteins of 40kDa ( P40 ) and 90kDa ( P90 ) were formed by proteolytic cleavage[ 15 ]. Since cistrons on the same operon normally carry out the same map, P40 and P90 are called accessary proteins, found along with P1-proteins and assist in M.pneumoniae adhesion14.Besides P40 and P90, another group of 3 accessary proteins, HMW1, HMW2 and HMW3 are involved in cytadherence. Those beings that lack P40 or P90 proteins tend to hold the P1-protein scattered on their membrane ; P1 fails to constellate at the tip of the fond regard organelle13.

Therefore, absence of HMW1-HMW3 proteins leads to the loss of the characteristic abbreviated visual aspect of the fond regard cell organ that is normally seen in the wildtype being. These changes suggest that accessary proteins are required for keeping the proper form of the fond regard cell organ and HMW3 plays an of import function in keeping the architecture and stableness of the organelle14. HMW2 is known to play a regulative function ; loss of HMW2 protein leads to decreased degrees of other accessary proteins, therefore straight impacting cytadherence. Accessory proteins, hence, do non take part in receptor binding of the pathogen to the host cell but play a critical function in the sidelong motion and care of adhesins at the tip of the fond regard organelle13. Fig.

3 shows a conventional diagram of all the cytadhering proteins in the fond regard cell organ.Fig.3 Schematic diagram of the fond regard cell organ and the location of the major cytadherence and accessary proteins inA M.A pneumoniae.The P1 and P30 adhesin are the major cytadhesins clustered at the tip of the cell organ.

HMW3 protein helps in keeping the architecture of the cell organ. Taken from:Razin, Shmuel, and Richard Herrmann. “ Cytadherence and the Cytoskeleton.

“ A Molecular Biology and Pathogenicity of Mycoplasmas. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2002. 491-518. Print.Attachment is followed by terrible oxidative harm of host epithelial cells by H peroxide and superoxides produced by the adhered M.pneumoniae organisms12. These powerful oxidizers induce oxidative emphasis, taking to host membrane harm.

It is indispensable for the pathogen to adhere really closely to the host cell in order to keep the high concentrations of the peroxide required to hold a toxic consequence. The superoxide inhibits host cell catalase, increasing the accretion of H peroxide at the contact site12, as seen in fig.4.Fig.4 Proposed mechanism of oxidative harm to host cells by adheringA M pneumoniae. The high concentration of peroxide in and around the cell causes harm to the cells, therefore doing an inflammatory response.

Taken from Baron, Samuel ( 1996 ) . “ Mycoplasmas. “ A Medical Microbiology. 4th erectile dysfunction. New York: Churchill LivingstoneTherefore, adhering of Mycoplasmas to the eucaryotic cells makes the cell more permeable to all the toxic substances these pathogens produce6. Attachment of M.pneumoniae to the epithelial cells leads to the suppression of the “ whipping ” of ciliated cells, demobilizing a critical defense mechanism of the upper respiratory piece of land.

Interactions of pathogens with the cells of the immune system

Mycoplasmas are able to exercise a scope of specific and non-specific immune reactions after fond regard to host cells. Pathogen attachment to the host cell induces a specific immune response by bring forthing serum and antibodies ; this indicates that Mycoplasmas stimulate the production of B-lymphocytes.The first response occurs after an initial infection with M.pneumoniae with the production of M.pneumoniae-specific IgM ( immunoglobulin-M ) antibodies followed by predomination of IgG and IgA-antibodies[ 16 ].

Once the particular antibody has opsonised the pathogen, phagocytosis by leucocytes and macrophages occurs.Leukocyte stimulation occurs by a non-specific immunomodulatory consequence via a cascade of reactions, originally triggered by the pathogen lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are immunomodulins, i.e. they induce cytokine synthesis. Cytokine synthesis comprises a cascade of reactions get downing with the Toll-like receptors ( TLRs )[ 17 ], a 10-protien household which recognize and bind to structurally conserved molecules associated with bugs.

TLR2, known to acknowledge lipoglycans, recognizes a 21kDa dipalmitoylated lipoprotein subunit-b of F0F1-type ATPase[ 18 ]nowadays in the M.pneumoniae membrane and activates Nuclear Factor-kB ( NF-kB ) via signal molecules13. NF-kB activates the written text of a big figure of cistrons encoding proteins involved in immunological procedures, specifically taking to monocyte and macrophage stimulation, which so secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines like Tumour-Necrosis Factor ( TNF ) -I± , Interleukin ( IL ) -1 and IL-612, each executing different maps, as seen in table.3. Hence, cytokine production can either hold a positive consequence by minimising disease by heightening host defense mechanism system, or have a negative consequence by declining harm and redness, doing immunologic hypersensitivity. There is grounds from human surveies that suggests that badness of the disease is straight linked with the extent of cytokine production and leukocyte stimulation. Therefore, a high cell-mediated immune response consequences in terrible clinical unwellness and pneumonic hurt.

OrganismCytokine producedFunction of cytokine in the immune responseM. pneumoniaeInterleukin-1TNF-I±Interleukin-6IFN-I±Promote B & A ; T-lymphocyte proliferation into effecter cellsPrinciple go-between of redness, febrility and release of acute stage proteinsUpregulateA the cytocidal activity of macrophagesStimulation of leucocytes and the look of major histocompatibility composite ( MHC ) class-I and class-II antigens on macrophages, heightening antigenic presentation by APCs.Cofactor in B-cell distinction and ripeningEnhance cytotoxic activity of NK cells

Table3. Cytokine initiation in human hosts by M. pneumoniae during infection

Along with the initiation of cells of the host immune system and cytokine production, M. pneumoniae infection leads to the development of autoantibodies. Autoantibody production is suggested to be an consequence of extended sequence homology between P1 adhesin molecule of the pathogen and host cell-membrane proteins, referred to as molecular apery. It is proposed that M.

pneumoniae excite autoreactive T-cells that are directed against the infective antigens, but due to extended sequence homology, these antibodies besides attack host cells while destructing M.pneumoniae[ 19 ]. Among these are antibodies to the encephalon, IgM-class cold agglutinins, antibodies to lung tissues and smooth musculus[ 20 ].

Cold agglutinins, for illustration, are IgM-autoantibodies that react with surface antigens of red blood cells. They are specific to the I-antigen on red blood cells ‘ membrane surface and are produced in 50 % of untypical pneumonia instances. It is proposed that M.pneumoniae adheres to erythrocyte membranes and H peroxide produced by M.pneumoniae alters the I-antigen, doing it more antigenic, therefore, I-antigen antibodies are produced[ 21 ]. Similarly, autoantibodies to glycolipids in the encephalon tissue are developed as cross-reaction of the M.pneumoniae-specific antibodies. M.

pneumoniae infection precedes 5 % of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where autoantibodies against galactocerebroside, a nervous medulla antigen are produced. M.pneumoniae P1-adhesin besides has sequence homologies with human CD4 and MHC-class-II proteins which trigger immunosuppression.The sequence homology between M.pneumoniae and host cells triggers the development of autoantibodies and serves as a mechanism to hedge the host defense mechanism system since this enables the pathogens to travel unnoticed by the immune cells by doing themselves look like host cells.

Evasion of host immune responses by Mycoplasma pneumoniae

The host immune system responds efficaciously after M.pneumoniae adheres to the epithelial cells with the chemotactic migration of macrophages and leucocytes to the septic site. In order to last, these pathogens have evolved molecular mechanisms that enable them to hedge the host immune response, enabling them to last in the host.

Antigenic fluctuation is one of the major mechanisms evolved by M.pneumoniae in order to hedge immune responses and adapt to the quickly altering microenvironment within the host.Antigenic fluctuation refers to the ability of M.

pneumoniae to change the antigens on its membrane surface-proteins, bring forthing multiple signifiers of morphology. In M.pneumoniae, distinguishable cell populations are generated, each holding a distinguishable set of antigens on its surface that is able to last specific host responses which eliminate another population of the same being.

This is a major cause of reinfection in patients that have been infected with this pathogen before.The genetic sciences of M.pneumoniae gives a important account for antigenic fluctuation in the being. The cistron encoding for the P1 protein was studied extensively, which revealed that there is merely one transcript of the full P1 cistron ; nevertheless, two-thirds of the cistron sequences were present in other parts of the genome as multiple transcripts while some parts occur as closely homologous, but non indistinguishable, multiple transcripts. These homologous and indistinguishable sequences provide variableness while modulating the structural and functional belongingss of adhesins. Hence, high-frequency surface-adhesin fluctuation by different rearrangements and recombinations of perennial elements and with parts from the P1-operon allow diverseness and altered specificities in these beings.

Familial systems that enable antigenic fluctuation in M.pneumoniae and other Mycoplasmas

As mentioned above, antigenic fluctuation plays a cardinal function in pathogen continuity within the host by helping immune response equivocation, therefore set uping a drawn-out infection. Although Mycoplasmas have an highly little genome, the cistron Numberss involved in changing the surface antigenic belongingss are big. This procedure occurs in Mycoplasmas via random fluctuation of cistrons encoding membrane proteins that are present in multiple transcripts in the mycoplasmal genome and are displayed on the surface in diverse recombinations[ 22 ].

To keep surface fluctuation, Mycoplasmas use many structural cistrons with similar features, organized as cistron households. This allows coevals of different antigen combinations, with each cistron holding the ability to exchange on/off and being able to bring forth distinguishable size discrepancies.Antigenic fluctuation can happen via two known mechanisms:1.Variation via homopolymeric repetitions: Some Mycoplasmas have little repetitions of reiterated bases within cistron sequences, rather frequently in which, interpolation or omission of bases can happen. This can “ exchange on ” or “ exchange off ” a cistron encoding a protein by bring forthing frameshift mutants, doing premature expiration of cistron interlingual rendition, ensuing inA different size discrepancies of the protein. Insertion/deletion of bases occurs by a procedure called slipped-strand mispairing, in which, transeunt misalignment of the mother-daughter strand occurs during reproduction[ 23 ]. The location of these repetitions can impact written text or interlingual rendition, therefore modulating the cistrons ‘ look degree.

This is observed in M.hyorhinis, where multiple repetitions of adenine-residue strings are present in the conserved booster sequences of the vlp-genes, encoding a set of variable lipoproteins[ 24 ]. Nucleotide interpolation in these repetitions “ exchange off ” the cistron by increasing the length of the booster, interfering with RNA polymerase placement, therefore forestalling the written text of the cistron[ 25 ].Repeats of 7-adenine residues were found in the cytadhesin P1-gene of M.pneumoniae which underwent self-generated mutants. Interpolation and omission of individual bases in these repetitions resulted in the formation of reversible cytadherence-negative/cytadherence-positive mutations ensuing from a frameshift mutant that generated a expiration codon due to which the P1-gene could n’t be translated wholly.

2.Variation via chromosomal rearrangements: This mechanism involves self-generated Deoxyribonucleic acid rearrangements by inversions, duplicates or translocations of tandem blocks of DNA during reproduction and is used by Mycoplasmas to modulate variable surface-antigens. Rearrangement is aided by homologous recombination, dependant on the RecA map. RecA enhances the tempering of single-stranded DNA to a complementary sequence in the double-stranded DNA, replacing one of the old strands. For homologous recombination, extended homology between cistron sequences is required, hence cistron households are common marks, taking to the production of legion phenotypic discrepancies.

This is observed in the vsa-gene household encoding V-1 antigens of M.pulmonis. Sequence analysis of vsa-genes from two M.pulmonis beings of different phenotypes ( showing, non-expressing ) suggested that a chromosomal inversion caused these two genotypes. The 5′-promotor nowadays in the uttered cistron was losing in the soundless cistron ; hence, re-assortment between the 3′-end of a soundless cistron and the 5′-end of the expressed cistron regulates cistron look[ 26 ].The ability of these pathogens to keep an antigenically various surface-membrane enables them to prevail in the host being by accommodating to the altering microenvironment[ 27 ], and hedging the host immune response.


After discoursing the complex interactions of Mycoplasmas with their hosts, it is apparent that these pathogens non merely have the ability to bring on an immune response, but besides evade the immune response really efficaciously. This enables them to prevail in the host, doing drawn-out infection. Although these beings have the smallest genome of merely 540 to 1300 kilobit, an infection caused by them can besides take to the development of autoantibodies within the host, therefore doing secondary manifestations of mycoplasmal diseases. Even though non all infections caused my Mycoplasmas have a high mortality rate, these pathogens cause catching infections and have a broad scope of hosts including worlds, animate beings and workss. These beings have evolved over the last few decennaries to go more infective than they were ; this implies that they will germinate further to go more unsafe and more pathogenic in the hereafter.

Hence detailed survey about the pathogenesis and interactions of this pathogen with the host holds great importance for future coevalss.Word Count: 3000 words