Detection of feline haemoplasma species in experimental infections by in-situ hybridisation

Microb Pathog. 2011 Feb;50(2):94-9. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Dec 1.


The aim of this study was to use fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) to search for the tissues and cell types important in survival and persistence of Mycoplasma haemofelis, "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" or "Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis" in infected cats. A 16S rDNA probe for each species was applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin wax-embedded tissues sections collected from experimentally infected cats. Tissues (n = 12) were collected, at necropsy, from ten cats which had been infected with M. haemofelis, and one each with "Ca. M. haemominutum" and "Ca. M. turicensis". M. haemofelis specific hybridisation was present on red blood cells (RBCs) in all tissues from acutely infected cats, but not the majority of tissues from chronically infected cats. "Ca. M. haemominutum" specific hybridisation was present on scattered RBCs within the spleen and liver. Specific probe hybridisation was not detected in any of the "Ca. M. turicensis" infected tissues. Haemoplasmas were detected on the surface of RBCs only and not any other cell type. Additionally, FISH was limited by sensitivity and could not detect the lower numbers of organisms present in tissues of cats chronically infected with M. haemofelis. Occasional organisms were detected in cats acutely infected with "Ca. M. haemominutum" but not "Ca. M. turicensis".

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cats
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Female
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mycoplasma / genetics
  • Mycoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / diagnosis
  • Mycoplasma Infections / microbiology
  • Mycoplasma Infections / veterinary*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Spleen / microbiology


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal