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Trends Microbiol. 2013 Apr;21(4):196-203. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Feb 16.

Mycoplasmas and their host: emerging and re-emerging minimal pathogens.

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INRA, UMR1225, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, 23 Chemin des Capelles, F-31076 Toulouse Cedex 3, France.


Commonly known as mycoplasmas, bacteria of the class Mollicutes include the smallest and simplest life forms capable of self replication outside of a host. Yet, this minimalism hides major human and animal pathogens whose prevalence and occurrence have long been underestimated. Owing to advances in sequencing methods, large data sets have become available for a number of mycoplasma species and strains, providing new diagnostic approaches, typing strategies, and means for comprehensive studies. A broader picture is thus emerging in which mycoplasmas are successful pathogens having evolved a number of mechanisms and strategies for surviving hostile environments and adapting to new niches or hosts.

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