2008 journal article
Detection of Mycoplasma pulmonis in Laboratory Rats and Technicians
Zoonoses and Public Health, 55(5), 229–234.
Five species of mycoplasma are associated with several rat diseases. Mycoplasma pulmonis is the most important and most studied, possibly causing disease in rats and undermining the validity of laboratory experiments. M. pulmonis was isolated in 144/240 laboratory rats and identified by PCR in 155/240. This species was also detected in 12 human individuals (technicians of a laboratory animal house hold) in contact with these rats. The results were confirmed by sequencing of DNA products. Mycoplasma species are host specific; however, M. pulmonis was identified in humans, suggesting a case of unspecific colonization. Statistical analysis shows a greater risk for M. pulmonis colonizing individuals who are exposed to infected rats in animal facilities than individuals who do not. The detection of M. pulmonis in humans indicates a new status for this mollicute mycoplasmas in animal-holding facilities.