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Title: Immunity, phylogenetics and growth characteristics of the pathogenic Mycoplasma haemofelis
Author: Hicks, Chelsea Alexandra Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Assessment of the taxonomy of the haemoplasmas is described using two protein encoding genes, gapA and dnaK, from a number of Mycoplasma and haemoplasma species and phylogenetically analyzing the concatenated data set. The resulting trees indicated that the haemoplasmas reside within their own clade, separated from the rest of the Mycoplasma species, adding more support for the suggestion that the haemoplasmas should occupy their own genus within the family Mycoplasmatacae . Immune responses and M. haemofelis copy numbers were analyzed following primary M. haemofelis infection and following re-challenge of M. haemofelis recovered cats. The results demonstrated that M. haemofelis recovered cats were protected from re-challenge. Analysis of the cytokine profile following primary infection showed increased levels of IL-12p35 and IL-12p40 mRNA suggestive of a Thl response. Although the mechanisms of protection could not be definitively determined, it was observed that proinflammatory cytokines may play a role. In vitro cultivation of M. haemofelis was attempted in both mycoplasma media and cell culture, by mimicking as closely as possible the blood environment and supplementation with possible haemoplasma metabolites, as identified by genome sequencing and metabolic pathway analysis. Suspected growth of M. haemofelis, as determined by qPCR, was associated with hypoxanthine supplementation, though the result could not be reproduced. A number of culture attempts, including the use of insect and mammalian cell lines, resulted in an initial decline in copy number followed by an apparent stationary phase of growth . Other species (mice, rabbit and guinea pig) were assessed for their ability to act as an alternative laboratory host for M. haemofelis, as well as to determine M. haemofelis host specificity. None of the animals became M. haemofelis infected, supporting previous suggestions of host specificity in immunocompetent animals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available