Ureaplasma urealyticum historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Fatimo Biobaku M.B.B.S [2]


Tiny(T)-strain Mycoplasma was first discovered in 1954, and it was ascribed to the genus and specie Ureaplasma urealyticum in 1974.[1][2]

Historical Perspective

T-strain mycoplasma (now known as Ureaplasma urealyticum) was first discovered in the human urogenital tract in 1954 by Shepard et al.[2][1] In 1974, the tiny (T)-strain mycoplasma was renamed Ureaplasma urealyticum.[1][2] U. urealyticum was further subdivided into two biotypes; biovar 1 ( parvo biovar) and biovar 2 (T960 biovar). Ureaplasma urealyticum biovar 1 was later designated as a separate specie called U. parvum following phylogenetic analysis done in 1999, but the biovar 2 strain retained its designation as U. urealyticum.[2] Investigations carried out in the mid 1970's by Tafari et al. described the isolation of Ureaplasma urealyticum from the lungs of stillborn infants with pneumonitis, and it is one of the earliest investigations that suggested the possible pathogenic role of U. urealyticum in neonatal disease.[3] Waites et al. reported the first case of suspected neonatal ureaplasmal pneumonia with sepsis and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn in the 1980's.[4] Several case reports are now available in the literature documenting the isolation of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum in fetal lung tissue, cord blood, pulmonary secretions, pleural fluid, lung tissue, and blood stream of neonates with pneumonia.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shimada Y, Ito S, Mizutani K, Sugawara T, Seike K, Tsuchiya T; et al. (2014). "Bacterial loads of Ureaplasma urealyticum contribute to development of urethritis in men". Int J STD AIDS. 25 (4): 294–8. doi:10.1177/0956462413504556. PMID 24047884.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Deguchi T, Yoshida T, Miyazawa T, Yasuda M, Tamaki M, Ishiko H; et al. (2004). "Association of Ureaplasma urealyticum (biovar 2) with nongonococcal urethritis". Sex Transm Dis. 31 (3): 192–5. PMID 15076934.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Waites KB, Crouse DT, Cassell GH (1993). "Systemic neonatal infection due to Ureaplasma urealyticum". Clin Infect Dis. 17 Suppl 1: S131–5. PMID 8399903.
  4. Waites KB, Crouse DT, Philips JB, Canupp KC, Cassell GH (1989). "Ureaplasmal pneumonia and sepsis associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn". Pediatrics. 83 (1): 79–85. PMID 2909979.

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