Advances in Research of the Genus Mycoplasma from the Perspective of “One Health”

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 8754

Special Issue Editors

Department of Cattle and Sheep Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute, 57 Partyzantów Avenue, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland
Interests: ruminant mycoplasmas, immunology, vaccines
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802, USA
Interests: molecular epidemiology; virology; cell-virus interactions; molecular diagnostic; vaccine; bioinformatics; immunology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycoplasmas are considered self-replicating prokaryotes with the smallest genomes found on Earth. Among the main characteristics of this peculiar group, we find that they lack cell walls, and they contain a minimum set of organelles essential for growth and replication. Furthermore, mycoplasmas are naturally resistant or unaffected by a broad spectrum of antibiotics, including β-lactams, rifampicin, polymixins, sulfonamides, and others. Recent studies have also uncovered the high capacity of Mycoplasma spp. to extensively exchange genes between the different members of the genus, allowing them to acquire genetic material related to virulence, environmental resistance, and adaptability. These properties make the species of the Mycoplasma genus a serious threat for both public and animal health, which needs to be addressed under the “One Health” approach. Indeed, the conjunction of scientific disciplines focused on humans, animals, and the environment seems to be the best way to face this complex problem.

On the other hand, the convergence of two major scientific disciplines, namely molecular genetic and computational science, with current exponential growth has enabled the expansion and emergence of other scientific areas, including bioinformatics, immunoinformatics, reverse vaccinology, molecular epidemiology, and the rational design of drugs and diagnostic methods. Thus, with the support of these new tools, it is only a matter of time before the scientific community fills the current gaps in knowledge regarding the pathogenesis, virulence, and epidemiological relationships of mycoplasmas. Likewise, the development of more accurate and fast methods for the detection and discrimination of the pathogenic species of this genus can be seen with optimism. Different studies have also shed light in the field by looking at more effective vaccines and drugs to control the infection and transmission of mycoplasmas. For that reason, this Special Issue will focus on the advances in the research of Mycoplasma spp. We are in pursuit of high-quality information in this research field that will allow a better understanding of the pathogenesis, virulence, epidemiology, diagnosis, and control of the species of this genus with the support of novel technologies.

Dr. Katarzyna Dudek
Prof. Lester J. Perez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Mycoplasma genus
  • reverse vaccinology
  • novel diagnostic tools
  • molecular epidemiology
  • pathogenesis
  • virulence markers
  • spatial analysis
  • treatment and control

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 440 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Variation in Prevalence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Other Respiratory Pathogens in Peri-Weaned, Post-Weaned, and Fattening Pigs with Clinical Signs of Respiratory Diseases in Belgian and Dutch Pig Herds, Using a Tracheobronchial Swab Sampling Technique, and Their Associations with Local Weather Conditions
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091202 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2281
Abstract
Besides Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae), many other viruses and bacteria can concurrently be present in pigs. These pathogens can provoke clinical signs, known as porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). A sampling technique on live animals, namely tracheobronchial swab (TBS) sampling, was [...] Read more.
Besides Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae), many other viruses and bacteria can concurrently be present in pigs. These pathogens can provoke clinical signs, known as porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). A sampling technique on live animals, namely tracheobronchial swab (TBS) sampling, was applied to detect different PRDC pathogens in pigs using PCR. The objective was to determine prevalence of different PRDC pathogens and their variations during different seasons, including correlations with local weather conditions. A total of 974 pig farms and 22,266 pigs were sampled using TBS over a 5-year period. TBS samples were analyzed using mPCR and results were categorized and analyzed according to the season of sampling and local weather data. In samples of peri-weaned and post-weaned piglets, influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus—European strain (PRRSV1), and M. hyopneumoniae were found as predominant pathogens. In fattening pigs, M. hyopneumoniae, porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2) and PRRSV1 were predominant pathogens. Pathogen prevalence in post-weaned and finishing pigs was highest during winter, except for IAV-S and A. pleuropneumoniae, which were more prevalent during autumn. Associations between prevalence of several PRDC pathogens, i.e., M. hyopneumoniae, PCV-2 and PRRSV, and specific weather conditions could be demonstrated. In conclusion, the present study showed that many respiratory pathogens are present during the peri-weaning, post-weaning, and fattening periods, which may complicate the clinical picture of respiratory diseases. Interactions between PRDC pathogens and local weather conditions over the 5-year study period were demonstrated. Full article
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18 pages, 2109 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the Global Phylodynamic and Phylogeographic Expansion of Mycoplasma gallisepticum: Understanding the Origin and Expansion of This Pathogen in Ecuador
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090674 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2889
Abstract
Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is among the most significant problems in the poultry industry worldwide, representing a serious threat to international trade. Despite the fact that the mgc2 gene has been widely used for diagnostic and molecular characterization purposes, there is a lack of [...] Read more.
Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is among the most significant problems in the poultry industry worldwide, representing a serious threat to international trade. Despite the fact that the mgc2 gene has been widely used for diagnostic and molecular characterization purposes, there is a lack of evidence supporting the reliability of this gene as a marker for molecular epidemiology approaches. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess the accuracy of the mgc2 gene for phylogenetic, phylodynamic, and phylogeographic evaluations. Furthermore, the global phylodynamic expansion of MG is described, and the origin and extension of the outbreak caused by MG in Ecuador were tracked and characterized. The results obtained strongly supported the use of the mgc2 gene as a reliable phylogenetic marker and accurate estimator for the temporal and phylogeographic structure reconstruction of MG. The phylodynamic analysis denoted the failures in the current policies to control MG and highlighted the imperative need to implement more sensitive methodologies of diagnosis and more efficient vaccines. Framed in Ecuador, the present study provides the first piece of evidence of the circulation of virulent field MG strains in Ecuadorian commercial poultry. The findings derived from the current study provide novel and significant insights into the origin, diversification, and evolutionary process of MG globally. Full article
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Review

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12 pages, 271 KiB  
Review
Vaccines for Mycoplasma Diseases of Small Ruminants: A Neglected Area of Research
Pathogens 2022, 11(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11010075 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2756
Abstract
Mycoplasmas cause some of the most economically important diseases of sheep and goats, including diseases listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) such as contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and contagious agalactia (CA). Other important mycoplasma diseases include chronic respiratory and arthritic [...] Read more.
Mycoplasmas cause some of the most economically important diseases of sheep and goats, including diseases listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) such as contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and contagious agalactia (CA). Other important mycoplasma diseases include chronic respiratory and arthritic syndrome (CRAS) and atypical pneumonia, both present on all continents where small ruminants are farmed. Unfortunately, owing to a lack of investment, most commercial vaccines for these diseases are of poor quality, being mostly composed of killed bacteriocins of dubious or unknown efficacy. Several Mediterranean laboratories produce autogenous vaccines, but these can only be used on farms where outbreaks have been officially declared, and consequently have limited impact on disease nationally. Effective live vaccines are available, but their use is often restricted because of safety concerns. With the necessary safeguards in place, we argue for their greater use. This review examines reported vaccines for mycoplasma diseases of small ruminants and attempts to identify new candidate antigens that may enable the development of improved products. Vaccines for CCPP are covered elsewhere. Full article
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