Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae


Higher order taxa


Phylum: Bacteria

Class: Mollicutes

Order: Mycoplasmatales

Family: Mycoplasmataceae


Species: M. hyopneumoniae, Bacteria; Firmicutes; Mollicutes; Mycoplasmataceae; Mycoplasma

Strains: Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 232, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 7448, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae J,

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.


Genus species: Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.

NCBI: Taxonomy

Description and significance

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is a type of bacteria that has a small genome and does not contain a cell wall. It is found throughout respiratory systems in pigs, such as in the cilia of cells in lungs, and causes coughs and more specifically, enzootic pneumonia (EP). EP is known to cause weight loss in pigs, leading to millions of dollars of losses in the livestock industry.

It is important to sequence the genome of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in order to analyze how much the bacteria is involved in respiratory diseases in pigs and to also detect antibodies against the bacteria.

The strains of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae are isolated using nasal swabs to collect samples from naturally and experimentally infected pigs. The organisms are then isolated in cultures and detected using PCR. Nested PCR (nPCR), specifically, purifies samples to sequence and align them, and then to detect the presence of the mycoplasma. After detecting strains, it is important to analyze how much vaccination affected these strains. The growth of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is fairly difficult in the laboratory as the bacteria grows very slowly and requires specific nutrients.

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.

Genome structure

 How many chromosomes?  Other interesting features?  What is known about its sequence?

Does it have any plasmids? Are they important to the organism's lifestyle?

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 232 has a complete genome. It is circular and the length is 892,758 nucleotides. The GC content is 28%. It has 727 genes. Replicon Type: chromosome.

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.

Cell structure and metabolism

Since Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae lacks a cell wall, it cannot perform many metabolic processes seen in other bacterias. As in other mycoplasmas, it contains the minimum amount of organelles needed to survive along with a small genome and tightly coiled chromosomes.

Like all other mycoplasmas, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae relies solely on its host, the cilia on lung cells, for nutrition and energy.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is known to produce toxic by-products rather than than toxins, as seen in other disease-causing bacterias.

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.


Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae attaches to the cells in the lungs of pigs. Since there are a few cases of EP per herd of pigs, there are detrimental effects to the economy and livestock industry.

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.


Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is a mycoplasma bacteria, signifying that it does not contain a cell wall. This microorganism uses the cilia of epithelial cells lining the lungs as its host. Once attached, it causes cilia to stop functioning, and eventually leads to death of epithelial cells, causing lesions found in pigs infected with enzootic pneumonia (EP).

Symptoms of EP include reduction of growth in pigs and respiratory problems, such as coughing.

Edited by Jessica Lau, student of Rachel Larsen at UCSD.

Application to Biotechnology

Mildly toxic by-products are produced by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

July 2005: "Dynamics and persistence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection in pigs" The purpose in this experiment was to determine the persistance of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae as well as the duration of the disease in pigs. Pigs were experimentally infected with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae through the nasal passageways and called "seeders"; other pigs were placed in direct and indirect contact with the infected pigs and were called "contact exposure". Pigs that had direct exposure to the "seeders" contracted the disease within 28 days while the pigs that had indirect exposure to the "seeders" contracted the disease after 42 days; PCR was used to detect the presence of the disease. The duration of the disease was also tested by slaughtering random infected pigs and taking nasal swab and lung samples of on these days after being infected: 155, 170, 185. Results showed that 77.7% of "experimentally infected" and 100% of "contact exposure" pigs were still infected up to 185 days after being infected.



Eduardo Fano, Carlos Pijoan, and Scott Dee. 2005. "Dynamics and persistence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection in pigs"Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, vol. 69, no.3 (223-228)

Katrin Baumeister, Martin Runge, Martin Ganter, Anne A. Feenstra, Friedrich Delbeck, and Helga Kirchhoff. 1998. "Detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluids of Pigs by PCR"Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 36, no. 7 (1984-1988)

Marina Sibila, Maria Calsamiglia,corresponding author Dolors Vidal, Llorenç Badiella, Álvaro Aldaz, and Jens C. Jensen. 2004. "Dynamics of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection in 12 farms with different production systems"Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research , vol.68, no.1 (12-18)

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano