Mycoplasma is the smallest prokaryote between the extracellular life and the intracellular parasitic life, with a size of 0.1-0.3 µm. Mycoplasma has no cell wall and is highly pleomorphic. It is widely present in the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and genitourinary tract of humans and animals. Mycoplasma needs sterols from the external environment to maintain cell membrane stability. At present, more than one hundred kinds of mycoplasma have been discovered, and they are widely distributed, involving humans, animals, plants, insects, and other fields, which bring serious harm to human health and scientific research. The mycoplasma that causes the disease to humans mainly includes Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, and so on. Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes pneumonia, and Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma urealyticum, and Mycoplasma genitalium mainly cause genitourinary tract infections.
Mycoplasma is less pathogenic and generally does not invade the blood, but can bind to host cells through adhesion, obtain lipids and cholesterol from the cell membrane, and damage the cell membrane. Mycoplasma is different from other bacteria because they have no cell wall. Many antibiotics, such as penicillin, cannot kill mycoplasma because it does not have a cell wall. For the prevention and treatment of mycoplasma, biological diagnosis is particularly important. As one of the most sensitive diagnostic methods, ELISA is widely used in the diagnosis of mycoplasma.
Several other mycoplasmas that cause disease in humans, such as Mycoplasma urealyticum (M. urealyticum), Mycoplasma hominis (M. hominis), Mycoplasma genitalium (M. genitalium), are widely present in humans and animals. These mycoplasma infections are sexually transmitted diseases. Adults are mainly transmitted through sexual contact, while newborns are infected by the mother's reproductive tract during delivery. In adult men, the infection site is in the urethra mucosa, and in women, the infection site is in the cervix. After infection, it mainly causes nongonococcal urethritis, prostatitis, and endometritis.
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