Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

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Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae
Phylum Firmicutes
Class Mollicutes
Order Mycoplasmatales
Family Mycoplasmataceae
Genus Mycoplasma
Species M.hyopneumoniae


Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is a very small, gram positive bacterial pathogen. It is round in shape and stores its DNA in a nucleolus and in fibrillar cytoplasmic material.

Culture of M. hyopneumoniae is difficult and time-consuming and requires specialised media. It grows slowly, requires 5-10% carbon dioxide and produces an acid colour shift. Because of the time taken, contamination is very common, especially with other Mycoplasmas.


M. hyopneumoniae adheres to the cilia of the respiratory tract[1], causing ciliostasis, clumping and loss.[2] This is followed by loss of epithelial cells and goblet cells. [3] This reduces the efficacy of mucociliary clearance and allows the colonisation of the secondary pathogens that are usually involved in Enzootic Pneumonia.

M. hyopneumoniae also alters many other aspects of the host’s immune system, including B and T lymphocyte driven immunity, alveolar macrophages and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Mononuclear infiltration of peribronchiolar and perivascular areas is the basis of pneumonic lesions and often causes the formation of lymphoid nodules when disease is chronic, as it often is.

Pathogenicity and severity of disease are stipulated by the presence and interaction of M. hyopneumoniae with other pathogens.


M. hyopneumoniae causes enzootic pneumonia in pigs.

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Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae publications


  1. Zielinski, G. C., Ross, R. F (1993) Adherence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae to porcine ciliated respiratory tract cells. American J Vet Research, 54(8):1262-1269; 27
  2. Debey, M. C., Ross, R. F (1994) Ciliostasis and loss of cilia induced by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in porcine tracheal organ cultures. Infection and Immunity, 62(12):5312-5318; 33
  3. Debey, M. C., Jacobson, C. D., Ross, R. F (1992) Histochemical and morphologic changes of porcine airway epithelial cells in response to infection with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 53(9):1705-1710; 28


This article was originally sourced from The Animal Health & Production Compendium (AHPC) published online by CABI during the OVAL Project.

The datasheet was accessed on 25 June 2011.

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