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Mycoplasma and mycoplasmosis


Mycoplasma Mycoplasmosis is a term that combines a group of infections caused by mycoplasmas (nuclear-free microorganisms), affecting the urinary and respiratory system, the musculoskeletal system and organs of vision. Science knows about seventy types of mycoplasmas, but only a few are dangerous to human health.

For the first time mycoplasma was isolated in 1898 in France from the body of cows with pneumonia. A little later, in 1928, scientists turned the taking out onto a strange "virus" in sick bulls, and in 1937 Edzall and Dienes found out that mycoplasma also inhabits the human body. They isolated it during the study of abscesses of Bartholin glands. In the body of healthy women (in the area of ​​the cervical canal), the pathogen was detected in 1942, and at the same time, mycoplasma was found in the urethra in men. A few years later, it was proved that mycoplasmosis is a venereal disease that can provoke quite serious consequences.

Etiology and pathogenesis of the pathogen mycoplasmosis

Mycoplasma is a Gram-negative unicellular microorganism that is a member of the mollicute class. It is intermediate between fungi, viruses and bacteria. The cell membrane of the mycoplasma is devoid of a rigid cell wall (this is the difference between prokaryotes and bacteria, in which the cells are covered with a carbohydrate-protein capsule). In this case, the plasmalemma (the thinnest film visible only in an electron microscope) protects the contents of the cell from the external environment. It consists of a complex of lipoproteins, which include molecules of proteins and lipids. With the help of plasmolemma, the parasite is attached to the cells of the host, and then lives and develops due to its intracellular resources. However, it becomes difficult for the immune mechanisms.

The size of mycoplasma ranges from 0.2 to 0.8 microns, and therefore the pathogen is able to freely penetrate through all protective filters created by the body. This microorganism is parasitic on the surface of the mucous membranes. This is perhaps the smallest microbe, capable of self-replication, like a tiny jellyfish. Its flexible membrane is able to take a different form, and therefore, even with a high-power electron microscope, mycoplasma is very difficult to detect. In chronic mycoplasmosis, the pathogen under magnification looks like a fried egg, but at the same time, it can very often take filamentary or pear-shaped forms.

When it enters the mucous membranes, the pathogen, attaching itself to the cell epithelium, provokes the development of local inflammatory reactions without showing cytogenic effects. Mycopalism interacts with the cellular apparatus, which leads to a change in its cytogenic structure and provokes the development of autoimmune processes.

Characteristic features of mycoplasma

  1. In the course of its vital activity, mycoplasma processes some substrates that contain steroid alcohols (in particular, cholesterol) necessary for its further growth and development.
  2. The parasite is able to grow and multiply in a cell-free space.
  3. Unlike viruses, it is sensitive to a number of antibiotics.
  4. DNA and RNA are simultaneously present in the cell of mycoplasma.
  5. There is a tendency towards specificity for the host.
  6. The parasite can be both an immunostimulant and an immunosuppressant.
  7. Mycoplasma can cause respiratory diseases and diseases of the urogenital tract.

The causes of mycoplasmosis

In the human body, 11 species of mycoplasmas are parasitic; however, only Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma pneumonia and Mycoplasma hominis can provoke the development of the disease. To this day, there are discussions among scientists on the pathogenicity of these microorganisms, and therefore there is not yet a definite answer as to under what circumstances mycoplasma causes the development of the disease.

According to many authors, the microorganism itself is not dangerous, since it can be not only a parasite, but also a saprophyte and is often found in perfectly healthy people.

The main causes of the disease include:

  • Oral, genital or anal sex;
  • Vertical transmission of infection from an infected mother to the fetus through the placenta;
  • Passage through infected birth canal.

It should be noted that the contact-household transmission path is currently excluded from the possible.

Symptoms of mycoplasmosis

Mycoplasmosis triggered by Mycoplasma genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is a fairly dangerous infectious pathogen that can be found in both women and men. With the development of the pathological process in a patient during urination, a burning sensation appears, and sometimes pain. This condition is explained by the fact that with the defeat of the urethra adjacent tissues inflame, and, as a result, their sensitivity becomes more acute.

In women infected with mycoplasma genitalia during sexual intercourse, due to the fact that the walls of the urethra are in close proximity to the walls of the vagina, there is a sharp pain. Often the acute form of the disease is preceded by an incubation period, and only 7–10 days after infection can appear the first signs of urogenital mycoplasmosis (less often - not earlier than a month later).

Mycoplasmosis of the respiratory system

When a pathogen of Mycoplasma pneumonia is detected in the pharyngeal smears and in the patient’s blood, suspicion of mycoplasma causing pneumonia is suspected. This is a type of bacteria that can provoke the development of diseases of the respiratory system (respiratory mycoplasmosis), proceeding as pneumonia, tracheitis, bronchitis and pharyngitis. In clinical practice, atypical (mycoplasma) pneumonia makes up 20% of the total number of diseases. In this case, the source of the infection is a sick person or a carrier of bacteria. On average, with respiratory mycoplasmosis, the incubation period lasts one to two weeks. The disease develops gradually. The patient is tormented by a dry, debilitating cough, sometimes accompanied by the release of scanty sputum. Most often, the temperature is normal or subfebrile, but sometimes it can cross the mark of 38 degrees. As a rule, patients complain of cough, sore throat and nasal congestion, as well as they have hyperemia of the mucous membrane of the pharynx and oral cavity. If bronchial branches are involved in the inflammatory process, dry rales develop in patients and breathing becomes hard.

In severe cases, respiratory mycoplasmosis can give complications to the heart and the nervous system. Fortunately, fatal cases in this case are very rare now.

Urogenital mycoplasmosis caused by Mycoplasma hominis

Mycoplasma hominis is a saprophytic microorganism that lives in the urinary tract of each person. However, under certain conditions, it can provoke the development of serious pathologies. Most often, when inflammation occurs, patients complain of painful urination. In some cases, the symptoms of urogenital mycoplasmosis are confused with the symptoms of gonorrhea or trichomoniasis. For several weeks after infection, women experience vaginal discharge with a very unpleasant odor, and during sexual contacts, many patients suffer from discomfort and even pain due to inflammation of the ureter.

урогенитальный микоплазмоз у мужчин зачастую протекает безболезненно. Note: urogenital mycoplasmosis in men is often painless.

Diagnosis of mycoplasmosis

Diagnosis of the disease takes place in several stages. First of all, the patient undergoes a thorough examination by a specialist. Next, a laboratory diagnosis is carried out, involving the use of various techniques.

During the visual inspection is determined by the condition of the mucous membrane of the vaginal walls and cervix. In the case when the visual examination revealed abundant discharge with a characteristic pungent odor, as well as inflammation of the cervical canal and the mucous membrane of the vagina, a good specialist immediately suspects the development of urogenital mycoplasmosis.

In the presence of characteristic symptoms, a patient is recommended to have a pelvic ultrasound, as well as additional laboratory tests.

To clarify the causes of the inflammatory process, a cytological or bacteriological smear is taken from the patient.

: данный анализ необходим для выявления других заболеваний, передающихся половым путем, и имеющим схожую с микоплазмозом симптоматику, однако с его помощью выявить микоплазму не возможно. Note : This analysis is necessary to identify other sexually transmitted diseases and symptoms similar to mycoplasmosis, but it is not possible to detect mycoplasma with it.

To make an accurate diagnosis, bacteriological seeding of secretions is carried out. With this analysis it is possible not only to identify the causative agent of mycoplasmosis, but also to establish its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.

It should be noted that today this method is considered not sufficiently effective, and therefore, in the course of diagnosis, PCR analysis for mycoplasmosis is mandatory for patients. With it, the causative agent of the disease is detected in 90% of patients.

Polymerase chain reaction is a fairly sensitive technique involving the determination of the DNA of a microorganism.

When setting the immunological analysis for mycoplasmosis, IgG and IgM antibodies are determined. Despite the fact that this technique is often used in diagnosis, it is considered not sufficiently informative, and therefore many authors recommend it is carried out only to assess the effectiveness of treatment.

Mycoplasmosis Treatment

In the case when during the diagnosis a test for the presence of a pathogen mycopasma gave a positive result, it is not an absolute indication for the purpose of treatment. In case of severe symptomatology of one of the urological or gynecological pathologies, the cause of which can be a mycoplasma, a smear smear test for the presence of other types of pathogens is mandatory. It should be noted that the causative agent of mycoplasmosis in itself very rarely causes the inflammatory process in the urogenital tract. Therefore, further therapeutic strategy will depend on the type of co-infections.

Treatment of mycoplasmosis is a rather complicated process. As a rule, it is held in the complex.

The greatest effect, of course, in this case has antibacterial therapy. However, not all antibiotics are able to destroy the pathogen mycoplasmosis. The selective effect of antibacterial drugs is associated with the characteristics of the infection. The fact is that mycoplasma has no cell membrane, whereas most of the broad-spectrum antibiotics act on its protein elements. Therefore, the treatment of this pathology should be trusted by a true professional.

Unfortunately, the human body is not able to develop immunity to this infection, and therefore both sexual partners will have to be treated at the same time. This should take into account the relatively high probability of recurrence. Therefore, to prevent re-infection and increase the effectiveness of treatment, many experts use innovative technologies of extracorporeal antibiotic therapy. This method provides for the incubation of high doses of antibiotics and the simultaneous plasmapheresis (blood purification).

In addition, with an antibacterial treatment, the patient is prescribed antifungal and antiprotozoal drugs that are active against the simplest single-celled organisms, as well as immunotherapy, instillation with liquid medications of the urethra, and physiotherapeutic treatment.

On average, the course of treatment for mycoplasmosis is ten days. Then, after two or three weeks, the patient is undergoing a control culture examination (bakposev), and after a month - PCR.

Consequences of mycoplasmosis

1. Mycoplasmosis is an infectious disease that causes many gynecological problems. This pathology can provoke the development of endometritis, salpingitis, and other inflammatory processes in the vagina and cervical canal.

In the case when a long time can not figure out the cause of the disease, it is likely that it is caused by a mycoplasma infection.

With the development of a latent form of mycoplasmosis, patients may experience primary miscarriage, placental abnormalities, polyhydramnios, and other complications that occur during pregnancy. In the chronic form of the pathological process, secondary infertility often develops due to impaired ovulation.

Very often, women who have undergone mycoplasmosis, various inflammatory processes of the pelvic organs are detected. In the case when the pathogen is transmitted in a vertical way, that is, from mother to fetus, this can provoke a spontaneous abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, and in the latter cause premature birth.

2. In children, mycoplasma can cause diseases of the respiratory system, as well as pathology of the urogenital tract. In this case, the pathogen is detected on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and on the lungs. In girls, they can affect the vulva and vagina, and in boys, the bladder.

With the development of respiratory mycoplasmosis, the child overcomes a dry cough of paroxysmal character, which most often develops at night and often resembles a cough with whooping cough. This condition can persist for several weeks or even months. Then the cough is gradually moistened, and passing wheezing appears in the lungs. In some cases, in the development of mycoplasmosis in children, a small, rapidly passing rash appears on the body.

The incubation period for the development of mycoplasma pneumonia lasts from two weeks to one and a half months. This pathology is characterized by an acute onset. The child refuses to eat, there are complaints of headaches, lethargy, and repeated vomiting may occur. Atypical pneumonia caused by the causative agent of mycoplasmosis, proceeds in waves, with mild oxygen deficiency.

In the case when the bronchi are involved in the inflammatory process, the disease also has a protracted course. At the same time, on the background of disorders occurring in the respiratory system, the child often develop extra-respiratory changes. These include pain in the joints (arthralgia), affecting one or two of the largest articular joints, a punctate rash or large red spots of irregular shape appear on the body, and also some groups of lymph nodes increase.

At the same time, mycoplasmosis in children may appear with uncharacteristic signs. Sometimes a child has increased flatulence, increases liver and spleen, and also shows symptoms of damage to the nervous system.

In newborns, in the blood of which mycoplasma is detected, from the very first days of life, pneumonia, meningitis or severe kidney damage may develop. Unfortunately, to this day, a vaccination against mycoplasmosis has not been created, and therefore only timely and adequate treatment can save a child from a fatal outcome.

3. In men, mycoplasmosis is diagnosed very rarely. However, they may be carriers of the infection. Therefore, in the absence of symptoms in the blood of the subject are often detected antibodies to the causative agent.

In 40% of mycoplasmosis cases in men, the disease is hidden. However, during stress or weakening of the immune system, the pathogen is activated and leads to the development of a number of complications. In such cases, patients complain of the occurrence in the morning of scanty transparent discharge, a burning sensation during urination, discomfort and pulling pain in the groin.

In the case when mycoplasma affects the tissues of the testicles, there is hyperemia, pain in the scrotum, as well as an increase in testicles in size. Such a state often becomes a cause of disruption of the spermatogenesis process.

Also in clinical practice, there are cases when the pathogen mycoplasmosis provokes the development of pyelonephyster, prostatitis, arthritis, and even some septic conditions.

Prevention of mycoplasmosis

In the prevention of the development of mycoplasmosis, the main role, according to experts, is played by the early diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as other non-uterine urinary infections.

In order to prevent the need to examine for mycoplasmosis couples who marry and want to give birth to a child and pregnant women.

При случайных половых контактах, во избежание заражения, настоятельно рекомендуется пользоваться презервативами, а также, по возможности, в первые два часа после сексуального контакта обрабатывать наружные гениталии специальным антисептиком.

Еще одним важным средством профилактики микоплазмоза является своевременное выявление и лечение заболевания не только у больных, но и у их половых партнеров.

Не стоит забывать, что у большинства мужчин и женщин микоплазменная инфекция, переходя в хроническое течение, протекает в скрытой форме, ничем себя не проявляя и не вызывая никаких субъективных ощущений. Именно поэтому большинство людей, считая себя здоровыми, своевременно не обследуются, и являются потенциальными распространителями инфекции.

7 Апрель 2014 | 14 285 | Uncategorized
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Capt Bacon: Hello Good sir. Which souce tells you that Mycoplama pneumoniae is facultativ anaerobe ? I ask this, based on the fact that Murray et al.'s "Medical Microbiology" 8th Edition, writes on page 335, that the mycoplasma genus is generally facultativ anerob, but M. pneumoniae is a strict aerobe. Thanks for the video, and have a nice day

TheChileanMapuche: I remember getting diagnosed with this, ER doctor decided to keep me isolated for a night until a specialist saw me. A nurse thought I was faking until she saw my lung x ray with a walnut sized mass inside of it.

In Full Bloom: Watch the latest Dr. Jennifer Daniels video on YT she talks about who buys the mycoplasma ...big pharma that produces vaccines... but why?