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  • Author or Editor: Ricardo F. Rosenbusch x
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This work was an attempt to develop an in vitro adherence model for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, using monolayers of human and porcine lung fibroblasts and porcine kidney cells. Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae grown in Friis mycoplasma broth was radiolabeled with 35[S]-methionine, washed, concentrated, and inoculated on the monolayers. After 15 minutes of centrifugation to facilitate adherence, monolayers were washed 3 times, dissolved with 0.1N NaOH, and suspended in scintillation liquid, and the radioactivity was determined in a liquid scintillation counter. Adherence, measured as a percentage of counts added, varied according to the mycoplasma strain and the cell line used. Comparison of strains J, 144L, and 232 of M hyopneumoniae revealed 7.5 ± 5.9, 31.9 ± 13, and 9.6 ± 5% adherence to porcine kidney cells, respectively. Slightly different, but proportionally the same relationships were obtained with swine or human fibroblasts. Adherence was decreased slightly by repeated washings of the mycoplasma-treated cell monolayers; however, a plateau was reached, indicating irreversibility of the adherence process. Pretreatment of cell monolayers with nonlabeled organisms substantially blocked adherence by labeled organisms. Dilution of labeled organisms resulted in an increased proportion adhering. Therefore, it appears that the adherence was a receptor-dependent event. Treatment of the mycoplasmas with trypsin prior to the inoculation of monolayers resulted in a marked reduction in adherence. Treatment of the mycoplasmas with hyperimmune swine serum against M hyopneumoniae or normal swine serum resulted in 80 to 90% reduction of adherence; however, no inhibition occurred when mycoplasmas were treated with purified IgG from the hyperimmune serum.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To examine Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae for presence of a capsule and its potential role in adherence.

Sample Population

17 isolates of M ovipneumoniae and 2 isolates of M arginini, recovered from sheep with respiratory tract disease.


Mycoplasmas were cultured in modified Friis broth medium, ovine fetal lung cells, or ovine tracheal ring explants. Pelleted mycoplasmas or ring cultures infected with mycoplasmas were treated with ruthenium red or polycationic ferritin and visualized by transmission electron microscopy. Reactivity of several lectins with the mycoplasmas was studied by use of a microtitration plate agglutination test.


Electron microscopy revealed a large number of M ovipneumoniae cells covered with an electron dense-stained amorphous material suggesting that it was a capsule. Multiple passages of the microorganisms in modified Friis broth medium decreased thickness of the capsule, but not percentage of cells encapsulated. Marked differences were observed when M ovipneumoniae isolates grown in modified Friis broth medium or co-cultured with ovine fetal lung cells were compared for capsular thickness or percentage of encapsulation. In thin sections of ruthenium red-stained tracheal ring cultures, the mycoplasmas appeared to be in close contact with cilia through their capsule. All isolates of M ovipneumoniae reacted strongly with wheat germ agglutinin lectin.


Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae produces a polysaccharide capsule with variable thickness that is dependent on culture conditions and strain. Morphologic observations suggest that this capsule facilitates adherence of the organism to ciliated epithelium. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:557–562)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


The cytotoxic effect of Moraxella bovis 118F on bovine neutrophils was evaluated and characterized by use of a 51Cr release assay. Neutrophils harvested from healthy adult cattle were labeled with 51Cr. The leukocidic activity produced by M bovis 118F, a hemolytic strain of M bovis, was heat-labile. A live culture of strain 118F, at a ratio of 100 bacteria/neutrophil, released 97.7% of the 51Cr from labeled neutrophils. Neither a heat-killed preparation of M bovis 118F nor a live or heat-killed preparation of M bovis IBH63 (a nonhemolytic and nonpathogenic strain) induced significant (P > 0.05) release of 51Cr.

Moraxella bovis 118F broth culture filtrates prepared for evaluation of leukocidic activity also were evaluated for hemolytic activity. These 2 toxic activities had several characteristics in common. Both were filterable, heat-labile, produced by a hemolytic strain, and were released during early logarithmic phase growth from broth cultures. Leukocidic and hemolytic activities were protected from degradation by phenylmethyl sulfonyl fluoride, a serine protease inhibitor. Leukocidic and hemolytic activities were dependent on calcium ions. Filtrate resulted in 54.1% 51Cr release from labeled neutrophils and contained 646.7 hemolytic U/ml, respectively, when saline (0.85% NaCl) + 10 mM CaCl2 solution was used as diluent. Neither saline solution nor saline + 10 mM MgCl2 solution supported leukocidic or hemolytic activity. Serum, obtained from several calves 10 to 38 days after M bovis inoculation, substantially neutralized leukocidic and hemolytic activities, compared with paired preinoculation serum samples. In addition, no significant difference (P > 0.05) was detected when the ability of each calf's postinfection serum to neutralize leukocidic activity was compared with the ability of the serum to neutralize hemolytic activity.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research