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Int J Exp Pathol. 1995 Apr;76(2):131-43.

Site of localization of Mycoplasma pulmonis and Mycoplasma hominis in the genital tract of female mice demonstrated by culture and scanning and immuno-electron microscopy.

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Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, MRC Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Middlesex, UK.


Thirty young adult mice, of strain BALB/c, treated previously with progesterone, were inoculated intravaginally (10 mice) or directly into the uterus (10 mice) with Mycoplasma pulmonis and 10 mice remained uninoculated. Ten mice not treated with the hormone were also inoculated intrauterinely with M. pulmonis. The same numbers of mice treated with oestradiol were inoculated in the same ways with M. hominis. Vaginal swab specimens were obtained from all mice 7, 14 and 28 days after inoculation and samples of genital tract tissue were collected from pairs of mice at the same time intervals. Large numbers of M. pulmonis and M. hominis organisms were isolated from the vagina throughout the course of the experiments and they were cultured also from the cervix and uterine horns. Mycoplasma-like bodies were demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy in the cervix and in the uterus, but neither mycoplasmal species was found attached to vaginal epithelium. The results of silver-enhanced immunogold labelling in conjunction with scanning microscopy provided assurance that the mycoplasma-like bodies were, in fact, mycoplasmas. The importance of hormone treatment was indicated by the diminished susceptibility of untreated mice to M. pulmonis and the almost complete insusceptibility to M. hominis, shown by culture and scanning electron microscopy.

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