Characteristics of Mycoplasma

1. Mycoplasmas or PPLOs are a distinct group of prokaryotes.
2. Their occurrence was demonstrated by D. Iwanowsky in 1892.
3. They are characterized by the absence of cell wall.
4. Mycoplasma cell is delimited by a delicate cell membrane, of successive layers of protein, lipid, and proteins, and contains a long double-stranded molecule of DNA and RNA granules.


Diseases caused by Mycoplasma

  • They cause diseases like Aster yellows, Little leaf of brinjal and Mulbery dwarf.


Properties of Mycoplasma

Nocard and Roux discovered the Mycoplasma. It causes pleuropneumonia in cattle and thus, called as Pleuropneumonia like Organisms (PPLO).
The properties of Mycoplasma are as follows:
  • They are the smallest cell with 125-250nm in size.
  • They lack the cell wall and thus, morphology is not fixed.
  • They possess the bacillary and spiral body with filaments and granules.
  • They grow in cell-free media that contains lipoprotein and sterol.


Symptoms and infections caused by Mycoplasma

In humans, Mycoplasma causes pneumonia, joint infection, post patrum fever, chorioamnionitis, urethritis etc. In cattle, it causes pleuropneumonia.
  • It can be transmitted through airborne droplets from a cough or sneeze.
  • When it enters the respiratory tract it multiplies and starts asymptomatic infection.
  • On sever condition, it produces symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, cough, sputum with blood, chest pain and even death due to cardiac failure.


Treatment and prevention of disease caused by Mycoplasma

The disease can be diagnosed by the staining method of specimens. Specimens can be isolated from sputum, blood, throat swab and respiratory excretion.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat the disease e.g., tetracycline and erythromycin.
  • Medicin: Fluoroquinolone.
  • Avoid close contact with infected person.
  • The mouth should be covered while coughing or sneezing.