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Vet Microbiol. 2012 Mar 23;155(2-4):425-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.08.026. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Demonstration of neuraminidase activity in Mycoplasma neurolyticum and of neuraminidase proteins in three canine Mycoplasma species.

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


Neuraminidases are virulence factors in many pathogenic microorganisms. They are present also in some Mycoplasma species that cause disease in birds, dogs and alligators. Thirty-seven Mycoplasma species have been examined previously for neuraminidase (sialidase) activity, whereas many of the species causing disease in man, ruminants, pigs, rodents and other animals have not. In this study neuraminidase enzymatic activity (NEAC) was examined in 45 previously untested Mycoplasma species, including those causing diseases in man, farm animals and laboratory animals. The only species in which NEAC was found was Mycoplasma neurolyticum, specifically, its type strain (Type A(T)) which is capable of inducing neurologic signs in inoculated young mice and rats. The NEAC of washed cells was relatively weak, but it differed even more than 10-fold among cells of cultures derived from individual colonies of M. neurolyticum. A weak NEAC was also detected in the supernatant of the M. neurolyticum broth culture. Canine Mycoplasma spp. with high sialidase activity reported previously, Mycoplasma canis, Mycoplasma cynos and Mycoplasma molare had 100-fold more NEAC than M. neurolyticum, but apparent differences in NEAC levels existed among strains of M. canis and of M. cynos. Zymograms using neuraminidase-specific chromogenic substrate were used to show proteins having NEAC. In M. canis (a field isolate Larissa and the type strain PG14(T)), M. cynos (isolate 896) and M. molare (type strain H542(T)) proteins with NEAC had molecular masses of ∼130kDa, 105kDa and 110kDa, respectively. Identification of these neuraminidases could provide the basis for their molecular characterization.

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