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Mycoplasma suis invades porcine erythrocytes


Groebel, K; Hoelzle, K; Wittenbrink, M M; Ziegler, U; Hoelzle, L E (2009). Mycoplasma suis invades porcine erythrocytes. Infection and Immunity, 77(2):576-584.

Abstract

Mycoplasma suis belongs to the hemotrophic mycoplasma group and causes infectious anemia in pigs. According to the present state of knowledge, this organism adheres to the surface of erythrocytes but does not invade them. We found a novel M. suis isolate that caused severe anemia in pigs with a fatal disease course. Interestingly, only marginal numbers of the bacteria were visible on and between the erythrocytes in acridine orange-stained blood smears for acutely diseased pigs, whereas very high loads of M. suis were detected in the same blood samples by quantitative PCR. These findings indicated that M. suis is capable of invading erythrocytes. By use of fluorescent labeling of M. suis and examination by confocal laser scanning microscopy, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy, we proved that the localization of M. suis was intracellular. This organism invades erythrocytes in an endocytosis-like process and is initially surrounded by two membranes, and it was also found floating freely in the cytoplasm. In conclusion, we were able to prove for the first time that a member of the hemotrophic mycoplasma group is able to invade the erythrocytes of its host. Such colonization should protect the bacterial cells from the host's immune response and hamper antibiotic treatment. In addition, an intracellular life cycle may explain the chronic nature of hemotrophic mycoplasma infections and should serve as the foundation for novel strategies in hemotrophic mycoplasma research (e.g., treatment or prophylaxis).

Abstract

Mycoplasma suis belongs to the hemotrophic mycoplasma group and causes infectious anemia in pigs. According to the present state of knowledge, this organism adheres to the surface of erythrocytes but does not invade them. We found a novel M. suis isolate that caused severe anemia in pigs with a fatal disease course. Interestingly, only marginal numbers of the bacteria were visible on and between the erythrocytes in acridine orange-stained blood smears for acutely diseased pigs, whereas very high loads of M. suis were detected in the same blood samples by quantitative PCR. These findings indicated that M. suis is capable of invading erythrocytes. By use of fluorescent labeling of M. suis and examination by confocal laser scanning microscopy, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy, we proved that the localization of M. suis was intracellular. This organism invades erythrocytes in an endocytosis-like process and is initially surrounded by two membranes, and it was also found floating freely in the cytoplasm. In conclusion, we were able to prove for the first time that a member of the hemotrophic mycoplasma group is able to invade the erythrocytes of its host. Such colonization should protect the bacterial cells from the host's immune response and hamper antibiotic treatment. In addition, an intracellular life cycle may explain the chronic nature of hemotrophic mycoplasma infections and should serve as the foundation for novel strategies in hemotrophic mycoplasma research (e.g., treatment or prophylaxis).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2009
Deposited On:23 Feb 2009 10:56
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 15:01
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0019-9567
Additional Information:Copyright: American Society for Microbiology
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00773-08
PubMed ID:19015255

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