Ureaplasma parvum

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource

A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Ureaplasma parvum


Higher order taxa

cellular organisms; Bacteria; Firmicutes; Mollicutes; Mycoplasmatales; Mycoplasmataceae; Ureaplasma; Ureaplasma parvum


Ureaplasma parvum

NCBI: Taxonomy

Description and significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why it is important enough to have its genome sequenced. Describe how and where it was isolated. Include a picture or two (with sources) if you can find them.

Ureaplasma parvum is a new species of Ureaplasma urealyticum. In the past Ureaplasma urealyticum was separated into U. urealyticum biovar (1) and biovar (2). Until recently, new research has suggested replaced the separation with the creation of 2 new species known has Ureaplasma parvum and U. urealyticum. Ureaplasma parvum was the formerly known U. urealyticum biovar (1). It is a pathogenic ureolytic mollicute (mycoplasma) commonly found in healthy and diseased humans. It is one of the smallest free living organisms known. Linked to many neonatal, male, and female specific diseases; its genome was sequenced in 2000. Favoring acidic growth medium’s it colonizes the genital and lower urinary tracts of humans.

Genome structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? Does it have any plasmids? Are they important to the organism's lifestyle?

Ureaplasma parvum is a mycoplasma that has a genome consisting of 750,000 base pairs. It’s genome sequence was completed in 2000. Known macrolide resistant mutants have been associated with mutations in the 23S rRNA and in the L4 and L22 ribosomal proteins.

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Not much is known about how Ureaplasma parvum causes disease but it has been associated with various diseases. Colonizing the urogenital tracts of humans it can cause male urethritis, supperative arthritis, adverse pregnancy outcomes, chorioamnionitis, and neonatal disease. It has been found in respiratory secretions of premature infants who have RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and has been associated with chronic lung disease (CLD). If the mother is infected during pregnancy, during delivery Ureaplasma parvum maybe spread to the CNS or respiratory tract of the infant causing infant pneumonia, meningitis, and septicemia.

Application to Biotechnology

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

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


[Sample reference] http://www.ebi.ac.uk/newt/display?search=134821&from=www





Pereyre, S., Metifiot, M., Cazanave, C., Renaudin, H., Charron, A., Bebear, C., Bebear, C.M. “Characterisation of in vitro-selected mutants of Ureaplasma parvum resistant to macrolides and related antibiotics”. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2007. Volume 29. p. 207-211.

Cultrera, R., Seraceni, S., Germani, R., Contini, C., “Molecular evidence of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum colonization in preterm infants during respiratory distress syndrome”. BMC Infectious diseases. 2006. Volume 6. No. 166.

Kong, F., Ma, Z., James, G., Gordon, S., Gilbert G.L., “Ureaplasma urealyticum Using PCR-Based Assays”. Journals of Clinical Microbiology. March 2000. Volume 38, No. 3. p. 1175-1179.

Edited by student Chris Katsura of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano