Molecular characterization of the uncultivatable hemotropic bacterium Mycoplasma haemofelis

EN Barker, AC Darby, CR Helps, IR Peters, KJ Heesom, CJ Arthur, B Crossett, MA Hughes, AD Radford, S Tasker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Mycoplasma haemofelis is a pathogenic feline hemoplasma. Despite its importance, little is known about its metabolic pathways or mechanism of pathogenicity due to it being uncultivatable. The recently sequenced M. haemofelis str. Langford 1 genome was analysed and compared to those of other available hemoplasma genomes. Analysis showed that in hemoplasmas genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism are limited to enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, with glucose appearing to be the sole energy source. The majority of the pentose phosphate pathway enzymes that catalyze the de novo synthesis of ribonucleotides were absent, as were cell division protein FtsZ and chaperonins GroEL/ES. Uncharacterized protein paralogs containing putative surface expression motifs, comprised 62% of M. haemofelis and 19% of Mycoplasma suis genome coverage respectively, the majority of which were present in a small number of unstructured islands. Limited mass spectrometry and immunoblot data matched a number of characterized proteins and uncharacterized paralogs, confirming their expression and immunogenicity in vivo. These data have allowed further characterization of these important pathogens, including their limited metabolic capabilities, which may contribute to their uncultivatable status. A number of immunogenic proteins, and a potential mechanism for host immune system evasion, have been identified
Translated title of the contributionMolecular characterization of the uncultivatable hemotropic bacterium mycoplasma haemofelis
Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


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