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Bacteria; Firmicutes; Mollicutes; Mycoplasmatales; Mycoplasmataceae; Mycoplasma; Mycoplasma penetrans
Chromosome: 1,358,633 bp
This human pathogen infects the urogenital and respiratory tracts. As the name indicates, Mycoplasma penetrans typically penetrates human cells.
First reported in 1993 as an emerging infectious agent, this gram positive bacterium is mainly associated with HIV infections but has been implicated in non-HIV related diseases. 20-40% of the HIV-positive homosexual population in Europe and the U. S. A. are infected with Mycoplasma penetrans. Anti-Mycoplasma penetrans antibodies are developed even in asymptomatic HIV carriers and in patients in the process of developing AIDS.
Since Mycoplasma penetrans has mitogenic activity to lymphocytes from HIV-infected individuals, it may be suggested that persistent M. penetrans infection may contribute to the deterioration of the immune system in HIV-infection. Mycoplasma penetrans infection has also been suggested to be a primary cause of human disease in non-HIV-related urethritis and respiratory disease.
Department of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection Control, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1, Gakuen, Musashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan. email@example.com
Sasaki Y, Ishikawa J, Yamashita A, Oshima K, Kenri T, Furuya K, Yoshino C, Horino A, Shiba T, Sasaki T, Hattori M., Nucleic Acids Research 30(23):5293-300 (2001 Dec 1).