Mycoplasma is considered to be the smallest bacterial cell known to science. It is so small that it does not even have a cell-wall, meaning that it is not affected by many types of anti-bacterial medicines, including penicillin, and it can survive without oxygen. Mycoplasma is an illness that affects a lot of people every year and can cause changes in cell growth, metabolism, reproduction, and protein synthesis. Humans exposed to certain species of mycoplasma could get, among other diseases, respiratory troubles such as pneumonia and related disorders. A mycoplasma infection usually has similar symptoms as a viral infection.
Mycoplasma is frequently found as stocks of virus, contaminants inside cell cultures, as well as other types of chemicals which are derived from cells. About 15% or more of lab cultures performed are contaminated with mycoplasma. A cell culture is the traditional and most common method for testing of mycoplasma. A sample is collected from patients and afterwards the culture is placed in an incubator and is processed for a few days. The presence of the mycoplasma cell in samples can be seen, inter alia, as a sign for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases, such as pelvic inflammatory diseases. Additionally, mycoplasma pneumonia is also a cause of sore throat in patients with bronchial symptoms, which type of pneumonia can be infectious for both children and adults’ liver, pancreas, lungs and CNS.
Treating mycoplasma is not easy. Unlike other cells, mycoplasma has no cellular wall, which makes it virtually impervious to the most common antibiotics in the market. Antimicrobials can be used in order to treat certain symptoms and inhibit the spread of the cells.