Characterization of hemadsorption-negative mutants of Mycoplasma pneumoniae

E. J. Hansen, R. M. Wilson, W. A. Clyde, J. B. Baseman

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27 Scopus citations


Previously isolated mutants of Mycoplasma pneumoniae incapable of hemadsorption were characterized with respect to specific protein content, tracheal ring attachment capability, and virulence for both in vitro and in vivo model system. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed both quantitative and qualitative differences between the protein complements of two different mutant strains and that of the virulent parent strain. Studies of mycoplasia attachment to hamster tracheal rings in vitro demonstrated that only one of these mutant strains still possessed the ability to attach to the respiratory epithelium via neuraminidase-sensitive receptors. Measurement of [3H]orotic acid uptake in mycoplasma-infected tracheal rings indicated that infection with the hemadsorption-negative mutants resulted in only slight reductions of ribonucleic acid synthesis, similar to levels observed for tracheal rings infected with an avirulent strain of M. pneumoniae. The virulence potential of the two mutant strains was further investigated by utilizing the hamster model system. Both mutant strains were rapidly cleared from the lungs of infected animals and produced little or no microscopic pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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