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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1994 Feb 1;116(1):101-6.

Membrane-associated hemolysin activities in mycoplasmas.

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Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.


Mycoplasmas are cell wall-less organisms that require membrane precursors for growth. Activities involved in the acquisition of these materials have been hypothesized as mycoplasmal virulence factors because of the effects these activities might have on host cells. Twenty-nine species or strains of mycoplasmas were examined for membrane-associated hemolysis activity similar to that previously identified in Mycoplasma pulmonis. Membrane-associated hemolytic activity was found in most mycoplasma species, but the amount of activity varied between and within the species. All of the arginine-utilizing mycoplasmal species, one M. pulmonis strain, one Acholeplasma species, and the intracellular human pathogens M. penetrans and M. fermentans ssp. incognitus were devoid of activity. The wide distribution of the membrane-associated hemolysis activity suggests that it may be important to the survival of the organism.

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