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Vet Microbiol. 2009 Jul 2;138(1-2):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.02.014. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Mycoplasma synoviae invades non-phagocytic chicken cells in vitro.

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Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Groblje 3, 1230 Domzale, Slovenia.


Mycoplasma synoviae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum are major poultry pathogens, but their strains differ significantly in invasiveness and pathogenicity. Recent studies have demonstrated that M. gallisepticum invades chicken erythrocytes (CER) and chicken embryonic fibroblasts. The aim of this study was to determine whether M. synoviae also invades chicken cells. Using the gentamicin invasion assay, relative invasion frequency (RIF) of four M. synoviae strains was determined for CER, chicken embryonic cell line (CEC-32) and/or primary chicken chondrocytes (CCH). All tested strains of M. synoviae were capable of invading chicken cells within 24 h after infection. The type strain WVU 1853 showed significantly higher invasiveness in CER (RIF 7.5+/-1.5%) and CEC-32 (RIF 7.0+/-0.3%) than field strain ULB 02/T6 and M. gallisepticum strain R(low). Surprisingly, WVU 1853, which is capable of causing synovitis and arthritis in chickens, was less invasive for CCH with a RIF (1.2+/-0.3%) similar to that of R(low) (1.1+/-0.1%). This is the first study documenting the invasiveness of M. synoviae strains for non-phagocytic chicken cells.

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