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Clin Infect Dis. 1993 Aug;17 Suppl 1:S280-2.

Models of infection due to mycoplasmas, including Mycoplasma fermentans, in the genital tract and other sites in mice.

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Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Middlesex, United Kingdom.


Progesterone induces susceptibility in murine genital tracts to Mycoplasma pulmonis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma genitalium when each is given intravaginally. In contrast, estradiol, but not progesterone, induced such susceptibility to Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, and Mycoplasma fermentans, the "incognitus" and PG18 strains of the latter behaving similarly. None of the mice that had been given M. fermentans intravaginally died, whereas others that had been given large numbers of M. fermentans organisms intraperitoneally died within a few days. M. pulmonis spreads from the respiratory tract to other sites more often in T cell-depleted mice than in immunocompetent mice. In addition, the "incognitus" strain of M. fermentans given intravenously killed BALB/c nude mice but did not kill immunocompetent control mice of the same strain or CBA nude mice. The effect is not unique to M. fermentans since M. hominis inoculated intravenously also killed CBA nude mice or made them ill. Such observations raise the possibility that immunosuppression caused by the human immunodeficiency virus could allow mycoplasmas to flourish and exacerbate disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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