Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria. They do not have a cell wall around their cell membrane. They are gram-negative, and need sterols such as cholesterol for growth. Many common antibiotics such as penicillin that target cell walls do not affect mycoplasma. Mycoplasma are the smallest bacterial cells yet discovered. They are typically about 0.1 µm in diameter.
over 100 species
Many species are parasitic, pathogenic or saprophytic, and can survive without oxygen. In humans, M. genitalium causes urethritis, and M. pneumoniae is a common cause of pneumonia. Some live as saprophytes but the majority are parasites of plants and animals. The parasitic nature is due to the inability of mycoplasmal bacteria to synthesise the required growth factor.
- Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. 2004. pp. 409–12. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
- Cu‐Uvin, Susan (April 2010). Sweet, Richard L.; Gibbs, Ronald S. (eds.). "Book Review Infectious Diseases of the Female Genital Tract, Fifth Edition Edited by Richard L. Sweet and Ronald S. Gibbs Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Williams, 2009 . 469 pp $139.00 (hardcover)". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 50 (7): 1076. doi:10.1086/651111. ISSN 1058-4838.