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November 2015


Humans are colonized by thousands of bacterial species, but it is difficult to assess the metabolic and pathogenic potential of the majority of these because they have yet to be cultured. Here, we characterize an uncultivated vaginal mycoplasma tightly associated with trichomoniasis that was previously known by its 16S rRNA sequence as “Mnola.” In this study, the mycoplasma was found almost exclusively in women infected with the sexually transmitted pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis, but rarely observed in women with no diagnosed disease. The genomes of four strains of this species were reconstructed using metagenome sequencing and assembly of DNA from four discrete mid-vaginal samples, one of which was obtained from a pregnant woman with trichomoniasis who delivered prematurely. These bacteria harbor several putative virulence factors and display unique metabolic strategies. Genes encoding proteins with high similarity to potential virulence factors include two collagenases, a hemolysin, an O-sialoglycoprotein endopeptidase and a feoB-type ferrous iron transport system. We propose the name “Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii” for this potential new pathogen.


© 2014 Fettweis et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Is Part Of

VCU Microbiology and Immunology Publications

Figure_S1.pdf (441 kB)
Cluster analysis of mid-vaginal samples with a clinical diagnosis of trichomoniasis.

Figure_S2.pdf (8570 kB)
Detection of “Ca. M. girerdii” in mid-vaginal samples.

Figure_S3.pdf (645 kB)
“Ca. M. girerdii” coexists with both genotypes of T. vaginalis.

Figure_S4.pdf (2193 kB)
Conserved synteny among “Ca. M. girerdii” strains not shared with related species.

Table_S1.docx (39 kB)
Distribution of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGS).

Table_S2.docx (40 kB)
Putative transporters in “Ca. M. girerdii” strain VCU_M1.

Table_S3.docx (38 kB)
List of primers for circularization of “Ca. M. girerdii” genome.

Table_S4.docx (49 kB)
Hominis Group orthologs.

Table_S5.docx (49 kB)
Pneumoniae and Hemoplasma Group orthologs.

Table_S6.docx (50 kB)
Spiroplasma, Phytoplasma and Outgroup orthologs.