One Health in Mycoplasmas: Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Resistance in Mycoplasmas Infecting Humans, Animals, Plants and Insects

A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382). This special issue belongs to the section "Genetic and Biochemical Studies of Antibiotic Activity and Resistance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 21017

Special Issue Editor

Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Interests: Ureaplasma; Legionella; Mycoplasma; group B streptococcus; fluoroquinolone resistance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycoplasmas are among the smallest forms of life in nature and exist as commensals or pathogens of organisms across the tree of life. They are associated with disease in premature newborn babies and sexually transmitted disease in adults, infectious respiratory disease in domesticated farm animals (pigs, chickens and cattle), as well as wild game (antelope, camels and flamingos), causing infectious damage to fruit crops of citrus trees, and have even been found in jellyfish. The entire over-arching class of Mollicutes to which they belong have no cell wall, scavenge nucleotides from their host and commonly reside within host cells, making them completely resistant to most classes of antibiotics. Therefore, monitoring the evolution and spread of resistance to the remaining effective antibiotics is of international concern. This Special Issue is dedicated to the International Organisation of Mycoplasmology in its continued effort to monitor resistance, develop new antibiotic therapies and guidelines, and develop alternatives for treating Mycoplasma infection in the face of diminishing effective antibiotics.

Dr. Owen B. Spiller
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Mycoplasma
  • Ureaplasma
  • Phytoplasma
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • clinical
  • veterinary
  • plants
  • insects

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3305 KiB  
Article
Lefamulin in Patients with Community-Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia Caused by Atypical Respiratory Pathogens: Pooled Results from Two Phase 3 Trials
Antibiotics 2021, 10(12), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10121489 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3030
Abstract
Lefamulin was the first systemic pleuromutilin antibiotic approved for intravenous and oral use in adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia based on two phase 3 trials (Lefamulin Evaluation Against Pneumonia [LEAP]-1 and LEAP-2). This pooled analysis evaluated lefamulin efficacy and safety in adults with [...] Read more.
Lefamulin was the first systemic pleuromutilin antibiotic approved for intravenous and oral use in adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia based on two phase 3 trials (Lefamulin Evaluation Against Pneumonia [LEAP]-1 and LEAP-2). This pooled analysis evaluated lefamulin efficacy and safety in adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia caused by atypical pathogens (Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, and Chlamydia pneumoniae). In LEAP-1, participants received intravenous lefamulin 150 mg every 12 h for 5–7 days or moxifloxacin 400 mg every 24 h for 7 days, with optional intravenous-to-oral switch. In LEAP-2, participants received oral lefamulin 600 mg every 12 h for 5 days or moxifloxacin 400 mg every 24 h for 7 days. Primary outcomes were early clinical response at 96 ± 24 h after first dose and investigator assessment of clinical response at test of cure (5–10 days after last dose). Atypical pathogens were identified in 25.0% (91/364) of lefamulin-treated patients and 25.2% (87/345) of moxifloxacin-treated patients; most were identified by ≥1 standard diagnostic modality (M. pneumoniae 71.2% [52/73]; L. pneumophila 96.9% [63/65]; C. pneumoniae 79.3% [46/58]); the most common standard diagnostic modality was serology. In terms of disease severity, more than 90% of patients had CURB-65 (confusion of new onset, blood urea nitrogen > 19 mg/dL, respiratory rate ≥ 30 breaths/min, blood pressure <90 mm Hg systolic or ≤60 mm Hg diastolic, and age ≥ 65 years) scores of 0–2; approximately 50% of patients had PORT (Pneumonia Outcomes Research Team) risk class of III, and the remaining patients were more likely to have PORT risk class of II or IV versus V. In patients with atypical pathogens, early clinical response (lefamulin 84.4–96.6%; moxifloxacin 90.3–96.8%) and investigator assessment of clinical response at test of cure (lefamulin 74.1–89.7%; moxifloxacin 74.2–97.1%) were high and similar between arms. Treatment-emergent adverse event rates were similar in the lefamulin (34.1% [31/91]) and moxifloxacin (32.2% [28/87]) groups. Limitations to this analysis include its post hoc nature, the small numbers of patients infected with atypical pathogens, the possibility of PCR-based diagnostic methods to identify non-etiologically relevant pathogens, and the possibility that these findings may not be generalizable to all patients. Lefamulin as short-course empiric monotherapy, including 5-day oral therapy, was well tolerated in adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and demonstrated high clinical response rates against atypical pathogens. Full article
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8 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Resistance to 16-Membered Macrolides, Tiamulin and Lincomycin in a Swine Isolate of Acholeplasma laidlawii
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111415 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Acholeplasma (A.) laidlawii is an opportunistic pathogen with the ability to disseminate resistance determinants to antibiotics; however, its resistance to macrolides has been less studied. The aim of the present study was to characterize the mechanisms responsible for the resistance to [...] Read more.
Acholeplasma (A.) laidlawii is an opportunistic pathogen with the ability to disseminate resistance determinants to antibiotics; however, its resistance to macrolides has been less studied. The aim of the present study was to characterize the mechanisms responsible for the resistance to macrolides, tiamulin and lincomycin found in a strain of A. laidlawii isolated from a pig with pneumonia. MICs of erythromycin, 15- and 16-membered macrolides, tiamulin and lincomycin were determined by microdilution method with and without reserpine, an inhibitor of ABC efflux pumps and regions of the genome were sequenced. Reserpine only decreased lincomycin MIC but it did not change the MICs of macrolides and tiamulin. The analysis of the DNA sequence of 23S rRNA showed nucleotide substitutions at eight different positions, although none of them were at positions previously related to macrolide resistance. Five mutations were found in the L22 protein, one of them at the stop codon. In addition, two mutations were found in the amino acid sequence of L4. The combination of multiple mutations in the ribosomal proteins L22 and L4 together with substitutions in 23S rRNA DNA sequence was associated with the resistance to macrolides, the pleuromutilin and lincomycin in the studied A. laidlawii strain. Full article
27 pages, 1248 KiB  
Article
Defining Fluoroquinolone Resistance-Mediating Mutations from Non-Resistance Polymorphisms in Mycoplasma hominis Topoisomerases
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111379 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1806
Abstract
Often dismissed as a commensal, Mycoplasma hominis is an increasingly prominent target of research due to its role in septic arthritis and organ transplant failure in immunosuppressed patients, particularly lung transplantation. As a mollicute, its highly reductive genome and structure render it refractile [...] Read more.
Often dismissed as a commensal, Mycoplasma hominis is an increasingly prominent target of research due to its role in septic arthritis and organ transplant failure in immunosuppressed patients, particularly lung transplantation. As a mollicute, its highly reductive genome and structure render it refractile to most forms of treatment and growing levels of resistance to the few sources of treatment left, such as fluoroquinolones. We examined antimicrobial susceptibility (AST) to fluoroquinolones on 72 isolates and observed resistance in three (4.1%), with corresponding mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) of S83L or E87G in gyrA and S81I or E85V in parC. However, there were high levels of polymorphism identified between all isolates outside of the QRDR, indicating caution for a genomics-led approach for resistance screening, particularly as we observed a further two quinolone-susceptible isolates solely containing gyrA mutation S83L. However, both isolates spontaneously developed a second spontaneous E85K parC mutation and resistance following prolonged incubation in 4 mg/L levofloxacin for an extra 24–48 h. Continued AST surveillance and investigation is required to understand how gyrA QRDR mutations predispose M. hominis to rapid spontaneous mutation and fluoroquinolone resistance, absent from other susceptible isolates. The unusually high prevalence of polymorphisms in M. hominis also warrants increased genomics’ surveillance. Full article
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9 pages, 476 KiB  
Article
Determination of In Vitro Antimicrobial Susceptibility for Lefamulin (Pleuromutilin) for Ureaplasma Spp. and Mycoplasma hominis
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111370 - 09 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2452
Abstract
Lefamulin is the first of the pleuromutilin class of antimicrobials to be available for therapeutic use in humans. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of lefamulin were determined by microbroth dilution for 90 characterised clinical isolates (25 Ureaplasma parvum, 25 Ureaplasma urealyticum, and 40 [...] Read more.
Lefamulin is the first of the pleuromutilin class of antimicrobials to be available for therapeutic use in humans. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of lefamulin were determined by microbroth dilution for 90 characterised clinical isolates (25 Ureaplasma parvum, 25 Ureaplasma urealyticum, and 40 Mycoplasma hominis). All Mycoplasma hominis isolates possessed lefamulin MICs of ≤0.25 mg/L after 48 h (MIC50/90 of 0.06/0.12 mg/L), despite an inherent resistance to macrolides; while Ureaplasma isolates had MICs of ≤2 mg/L after 24 h (MIC50/90 of 0.25/1 mg/L), despite inherent resistance to clindamycin. Two U. urealyticum isolates with additional A2058G mutations of 23S rRNA, and one U. parvum isolate with a R66Q67 deletion (all of which had a combined resistance to macrolides and clindamycin) only showed a 2-fold increase in lefamulin MIC (1–2 mg/L) relative to macrolide-susceptible strains. Lefamulin could be an effective alternative antimicrobial for treating Ureaplasma spp. and Mycoplasma hominis infections irrespective of intrinsic or acquired resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, and ketolides. Based on this potent in vitro activity and the known good, rapid, and homogenous tissue penetration of female and male urogenital tissues and glands, further exploration of clinical efficacy of lefamulin for the treatment of Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma urogenital infections is warranted. Full article
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14 pages, 965 KiB  
Article
The aadE*-sat4-aphA-3 Gene Cluster of Mycoplasma bovirhinis HAZ141_2 Undergoes Genomic Rearrangements Influencing the Primary Promoter Sequence
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111335 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
The 54 kb GC-rich prophage region of Mycoplasma bovirhinis HAZ141_2 contains three structural ‘compartments’, one of which is a highly transmittable cluster of three genes, aadE-like (aadE*), sat4, and aphA-3. In this study, we characterized recombination events and [...] Read more.
The 54 kb GC-rich prophage region of Mycoplasma bovirhinis HAZ141_2 contains three structural ‘compartments’, one of which is a highly transmittable cluster of three genes, aadE-like (aadE*), sat4, and aphA-3. In this study, we characterized recombination events and their consequences occurred within the aadE*-sat4-aphA-3 containing region. Analysis of this region revealed direct repeats (DRs) of 155 and invert repeats (IRs) of 197 base pairs (bps) each, flanking and overlapping with the primary promoter P* located upstream of the aadE*. Two recombination events, including inversions via both 197 and 155-bp IRs (the latter become inverted after the initial 197-bp IRs associated inversion) and the excision of the aadE*-sat4-aphA-3 cluster, were confirmed. Inversion via 155-IRs results in changes within the P* promoter region. Using Escherichia coli JM109 carrying plasmids containing derivatives of the aadE*-sat4-aphA-3 cluster, we validated the expression of those genes from different promoters. Our results showed no difference in the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to kanamycin and neomycin and only 2-fold decrease in MIC (from 512 to 256 μg/mL) to nourseothricin between the wild type and a P* derivative promoter. However, the MICs to kanamycin and neomycin were at least 4-fold lower in the construct where aphA-3 expressed under its P2 promoter (128 µg/mL) in comparison to the construct where aphA-3 expressed under P1″ promoter located within the sat4 gene (512–1024 µg/mL). PCR confirmed the excision of the aadE*-sat4-aphA-3 cluster via 197- and 155-bp DRs, but no selection of antibiotic-sensitive M. bovirhinis were obtained after 100 passages in kanamycin-free medium. Full article
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11 pages, 542 KiB  
Communication
Antibiotic Resistance and Genotypes of Mycoplasma genitalium during a Resistance-Guided Treatment Regime in a German University Hospital
Antibiotics 2021, 10(8), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10080962 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
The treatment of infections from the sexually transmitted pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium is hampered by the rapidly increasing resistance to the recommended first- (macrolides) and second-line antibiotics (quinolones). Thus, resistance-guided therapy (RGT) is key for its successful eradication but the efficiency of this approach [...] Read more.
The treatment of infections from the sexually transmitted pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium is hampered by the rapidly increasing resistance to the recommended first- (macrolides) and second-line antibiotics (quinolones). Thus, resistance-guided therapy (RGT) is key for its successful eradication but the efficiency of this approach can be influenced by re-infections and treatment failures. The typing of strains is helpful to distinguish between ongoing colonization, re-infection or the development of resistance. In the present study, mgpB and MG_309 types as well as mutations associated with macrolide, quinolone and tetracycline resistance of strains in M. genitalium-positive samples accumulated in the years 2019 and 2020 at a university hospital were analyzed. Fifty-eight positive first and sixteen positive follow-up samples from patients (96.6% male, 84.5% men who have sex with men, 74.1% HIV-positive) were included. Twenty-three mgpB types (seven new types), nine MG_309 types and thirty-four mgpB/MG_309 types were identified. The prevalence of mutations associated with macrolide, quinolone and tetracycline resistance was 56.9%, 10.3% and 6.8%, respectively. Despite the fact that many asymptomatic patients were not treated and tests of cure were impossible in different cases, the preliminary rate of successful eradication (93.3%) in this study is promising for the continuation of the RGT strategy. Full article
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Review

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9 pages, 2341 KiB  
Review
Containment of Phytoplasma-Associated Plant Diseases by Antibiotics and Other Antimicrobial Molecules
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111398 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4236
Abstract
Phytoplasmas are plant-pathogenic bacteria that infect many important crops and environmentally relevant plant species, causing serious economic and environmental losses worldwide. These bacteria, lacking a cell wall, are sensitive to antibiotics such as tetracyclines that affect protein synthesis mechanisms. Phytoplasma cultivation in axenic [...] Read more.
Phytoplasmas are plant-pathogenic bacteria that infect many important crops and environmentally relevant plant species, causing serious economic and environmental losses worldwide. These bacteria, lacking a cell wall, are sensitive to antibiotics such as tetracyclines that affect protein synthesis mechanisms. Phytoplasma cultivation in axenic media has not been achieved for many strains; thus, the screening of antimicrobials must be performed using mainly in vivo materials. Some studies have investigated using in vitro phytoplasma-infected shoots, and several antimicrobials, including tetracyclines, have been tested. The screening of phytoplasma antimicrobials is important for the sustainable control of phytoplasma-associated diseases. The use of molecules with different modes of action such as ribosome inactivating proteins, plant hormones, and resistance inducers such as plasma-activated water, is advised, to avoid the use of antibiotics in agriculture and the possible emergence of resistant microbial strains. Full article
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23 pages, 1354 KiB  
Review
Integrating the Human and Animal Sides of Mycoplasmas Resistance to Antimicrobials
Antibiotics 2021, 10(10), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10101216 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2911
Abstract
Mycoplasma infections are frequent in humans, as well as in a broad range of animals. However, antimicrobial treatment options are limited, partly due to the lack of a cell wall in these peculiar bacteria. Both veterinary and human medicines are facing increasing resistance [...] Read more.
Mycoplasma infections are frequent in humans, as well as in a broad range of animals. However, antimicrobial treatment options are limited, partly due to the lack of a cell wall in these peculiar bacteria. Both veterinary and human medicines are facing increasing resistance prevalence for the most commonly used drugs, despite different usage practices. To date, very few reviews have integrated knowledge on resistance to antimicrobials in humans and animals, the latest dating back to 2014. To fill this gap, we examined, in parallel, antimicrobial usage, resistance mechanisms and either phenotype or genotype-based methods for antimicrobial susceptibility testing, as well as epidemiology of resistance of the most clinically relevant human and animal mycoplasma species. This review unveiled common features and differences that need to be taken into consideration in a “One Health” perspective. Lastly, two examples of critical cases of multiple drug resistance are highlighted, namely, the human M. genitalium and the animal M. bovis species, both of which can lead to the threat of untreatable infections. Full article
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