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Animal model of Mycoplasma fermentans respiratory infection

Antonio Yáñez1, Azucena Martínez-Ramos1, Teresa Calixto1, Francisco Javier González-Matus1, José Antonio Rivera-Tapia2, Silvia Giono3, Constantino Gil2 and Lilia Cedillo24*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratorio de Investigación en Microbiología Oral, Facultad de Estomatología, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 31 Poniente 1304, Col. Volcanes, Puebla, Pue, 72410, México

2 Laboratorio de Micoplasmas. Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Microbiológicas del Instituto de Ciencias de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Edificio 103-J, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. San Manuel, Puebla, Pue, 72570, México

3 Laboratorio de Bacteriología Médica. Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Prolongación de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n. Col. Santo Tomás, México, D.F. 11340, México

4 Centro de Detección Biomolecular, Benemérita universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Boulevard Valsequillo s/n. Ciudad Universitaria, Col. San Manuel, Puebla, Pue, 72570, México

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:9  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-9

Published: 8 January 2013



Mycoplasma fermentans has been associated with respiratory, genitourinary tract infections and rheumatoid diseases but its role as pathogen is controversial. The purpose of this study was to probe that Mycoplasma fermentans is able to produce respiratory tract infection and migrate to several organs on an experimental infection model in hamsters. One hundred and twenty six hamsters were divided in six groups (A-F) of 21 hamsters each. Animals of groups A, B, C were intratracheally injected with one of the mycoplasma strains: Mycoplasma fermentans P 140 (wild strain), Mycoplasma fermentans PG 18 (type strain) or Mycoplasma pneumoniae Eaton strain. Groups D, E, F were the negative, media, and sham controls. Fragments of trachea, lungs, kidney, heart, brain and spleen were cultured and used for the histopathological study. U frequency test was used to compare recovery of mycoplasmas from organs.


Mycoplasmas were detected by culture and PCR. The three mycoplasma strains induced an interstitial pneumonia; they also migrated to several organs and persisted there for at least 50 days. Mycoplasma fermentans P 140 induced a more severe damage in lungs than Mycoplasma fermentans PG 18. Mycoplasma pneumoniae produced severe damage in lungs and renal damage.


Mycoplasma fermentans induced a respiratory tract infection and persisted in different organs for several weeks in hamsters. This finding may help to explain the ability of Mycoplasma fermentans to induce pneumonia and chronic infectious diseases in humans.

Animal model; Mycoplasma; Mycoplasma fermentans; Respiratory infection