How the smallest bacterial pathogens outwit host immune defences by stealth mechanisms

Despite their relatively small genome in comparison to other bacteria, mycoplasmas can cause persistent and often difficult-to-treat infections in humans and animals. An extensive study by researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna has now shown how mycoplasmas escape the immune response despite their minimal “genetic arsenal”. Mycoplasmas “mask” themselves. They use their small genome in such a clever strategic way that they can even compensate for the loss of an enzyme that is important for this process. This could be shown for the first time in vivo in a living host organism, thus representing a breakthrough in the research of this special group of bacterial pathogens. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)