by Sean Elliott, MD

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    00:01 Ureaplasma, a bacteria.

    00:03 The Ureaplasma are the smallest free living bacteria and if you have recently looked on the session on mycoplasma, a lot of these will sound familiar because Ureaplasma used to be categorized in the mycoplasma family.

    00:19 So it’s a very small free living bacteria which can pass through a very small filter, 0.45 micron filters which get pretty much every other living thing.

    00:29 If you look at the micrograph on the slide we even have to use an arrow to show you the Ureaplasma organism and believe it or not, that’s a medium sized one.

    00:39 The Ureaplasma lack a peptidoglycan containing cell wall which means that beta lactam antibiotics which target peptidoglycan or penicillin binding proteins will not be able to attach and thus have no efficacy against this organism.

    00:55 The organism is pleomorphic in its shape, it is not visualized with the gram stain, again, because it lacks a very well-defined peptidoglycan wall and it requires sterols for growth.

    01:07 Importantly for Ureaplasma and it is in the name so it is easy to remember, it produces a urease which degrades urea in the body into ammonia and carbon dioxide.

    01:19 In case you missed the first part, the full name of the organism which causes the diseases, Ureaplasma urealyticum - that’s two things, two names telling you that this organism in fact has a urease which cleaves urea.

    01:34 The transmission of Ureaplasma is very much genito-urinary and in fact its principal disease is urethritis, a non-gonococcal urethritis.

    01:45 This organism lives in the normal flora of most women typically in the perineal or the vaginal region but occasionally contaminates the urethra of both men and women and when it does, it causes dysuria, painful urination and sometimes a very yellow mucoid discharge.

    02:03 There are complications of your Ureaplasma, a non-gonococcal urethritis, and these are important to know because they can be quite significant.

    02:13 Especially women who are pregnant may develop an ascending infection causing chorioamnionitis, this then might result in stillbirth of the fetus or even a premature delivery and babies who are born to women who are infected with Ureaplasma themselves may develop chronic lung disease, pneumonia and other signs of neonatal sepsis.

    02:36 The treatment for Ureaplasma is erythromycin or other macrolides and for those who cannot tolerate that—tetracycline, very much like we use for mycoplasma.

    02:47 So Ureaplasma on diagnosis is very difficult to find.

    02:51 As we said it’s a very small colony but it grows very slowly just like as it might with mycoplasma.

    02:58 Far more often we have to supplement their growth with cholesterol and sterol as we said and look for presence of urea degradation.

    03:08 Ureaplasma - very small, very common, quite a colonizer of women’s genital areas but when it causes a disease it can be a very big deal.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Ureaplasma by Sean Elliott, MD is from the course Bacteria.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Non-gonococcal urethritis
    2. Vaginitis
    3. Cervicitis
    4. Prostatitis
    5. Gonococcal urethritis
    1. Chorioamnionitis
    2. Potter sequence
    3. Hemolytic disease of the newborn
    4. Renal agenesis
    5. Multicystic dysplastic kidney

    Author of lecture Ureaplasma

     Sean Elliott, MD

    Sean Elliott, MD

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    Thank you
    By Ekaterina I. on 05. April 2021 for Ureaplasma

    Very well explained and fascinating lecture! Thank you very much!