Project: Research project

Project Details


The mechanisms by which AIDS-related mycoplasmas interact with host cells
will be assessed. The use of available mycoplasma DNA and antibody probes
will permit the identification of putative adhesin genes associated with
these mycoplasmas. Implicated genes will be cloned and sequenced, and
correlations between known adhesins of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and those of
M. fermentans, M. pirum and M. genitalium, will be examined. Based upon
preliminary data it appears that a family of adhesin-related genes exist
among these mycoplasmas, and that expression of these genes may regulate
mycoplasma-host cell interactions nd mycoplasma virulence potential. Also,
cytadherence-mediating epitopes will be identified using antibodies
generated against the AIDS-related mycoplasmas and several expression
vector systems. In addition, these experimental approaches will be used to
characterize immunodominant epitopes and possible sequence divergency among
the AIDS-related mycoplasma adhesins as reported by us for the P1 adhesin
of M. pneumoniae. the use of several eucaryotic cell systems, including
human lung and brain cells, along with ultrastructural and immunologic
techniques, should assist in defining cytadherence mechanisms. Subsequent
biological events that follow the host-mycoplasma interaction will be
monitored, including possible mycoplasma penetration and intracellular
residence and host cell cytopathology. Spontaneously arising
noncytadhering mutants of M. fermentans, M. pirum and M. genitalium will be
isolated and characterized for adhesin-associated biochemical and genetic
deficiencies. Lastly, preliminary data suggest an increased
immunoresponsiveness to M. fermentans strain incognitus (Mi) by HIV+
individuals prior to and during the development of AIDS-related symptoms.
therefore, the dissection of mycoplasma-host cell interactions and the
identification of adhesin genes and their products may provide useful
reagents for the diagnosis of AIDS-progression, the evaluation of various
therapies and the development of rational vaccine candidates.
Effective start/end date9/1/928/31/96


  • National Institutes of Health: $187,447.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $185,845.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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