Many mycoplasma infections do not require treatment. Vaccines against pathogenic mycoplasmas of humans are presently not available, a major difficulty being the antigenic variability of most mycoplasmas. For animal mycoplasmal diseases, inactivated and live vaccines have been developed against bovine, porcine, avian and caprine pneumonia.
Since mycoplasmas lack a cell wall, they are not susceptible to antibiotics such as (3-lactams which inhibit cell wall synthesis. Aminoglycosides are merely inhibitory. Treatment options with in vitro patterns of resistance (minimal inhibitory concentrations) are listed in Table 1. Among other caveats, care must be taken to adapt antibiotic therapies to age (e.g. tetracyclines are toxic for the fetus and infants), to the causative organism (e.g. M. hominis is universally resistant to erythromycin) and to the site of infection (e.g. erythromycin penetrates inadequately into body fluid spaces).
See also: Adhesion molecules; Antigenic variation; Complement fixation test; Human immunodeficiency viruses; Macrophage activation; Rheumatoid arthritis, animal models; Rheumatoid arthritis, human; Sex hormones and immunity; Western blotting.
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