How some mycoplasmas evade host immune responses

Academic Article


  • • The C-terminal variable region of the mycoplasma variable surface antigen (Vsa) proteins contains up to 60 tandem repeat units, and this variable length proves a major factor affecting adherence properties and shielding these bacteria from host immune responses. • The cell-surface Vsa proteins constitute as much as 10% of total mycoplasma protein, helping to shield cells against environmental factors. • When grown on solid surfaces and producing short Vsa proteins, M. pulmonis forms biofilms that confer partial resistance to immune system components. • Mycoplasmas form biofilm-like aggregates on host tissues, where they might also form tower structures to protect against innate immune system responses.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Simmons WL; Dybvig K
  • Start Page

  • 537
  • End Page

  • 543
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 11