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Open Access Detection of Urogenital Mycoplasmal Infections in Primates by Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction

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Urogenital mycoplasmal infections could affect use of primates as models for reproductive system studies and could affect reproduction in captive primates, but could be useful as animal models of similar human infections. We conducted a pilot study to assess detection of urogenital mycoplasmal infections in primates by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Healthy animals were anesthetized, and vaginal, cervical, or endometrial and urethral swab specimens were collected from females and males, respectively. Specimens were tested by PCR supplemented with dot blotting and nonradiolabeled oligonucleotide probing for 16S rRNA sequences conserved among mollicutes. Specimens with positive results were tested by speciesspecific PCRs with primers for 16S rRNA sequences of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis and for adhesin gene sequences of Mycoplasma genitalium. Spiked duplicate reactions were included as internal controls for each reaction. Results for 232 specimens from 166 animals indicate that naturally acquired urogenital infections are readily detected and suggest that urogenital mycoplasmal infections are common in laboratory primates (48/166 [29%] overall). M. hominis and U. urealyticum appeared to be common among the studied primates overall and especially in chimpanzees. Mycoplasmas other than M. genitalium, M. hominis, and U. urealyticum appeared to be at least as common as these three, with specimens from 18 of 48 animals (38%) having positive “generic” PCR results, but no positive results in species-specific PCRs.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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