Difference between Mycoplasma and Chlamydia

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma are eubacteria that are classified under kingdom monera. They are the smallest living organisms that can survive without oxygen. Also, they lack a cell wall. Thus, they can deform into various shapes (pleomorphic). They also lack a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles.

Many mycoplasma are disease-causing pathogens in both plants and animals. Examples – Mycoplasma pneumonia, Mycoplasma genitalium.

There are over hundred species of organisms under this genus. Most of them use arthropods and vertebrates as their hosts.

PPLO

PPLO (pleuro pneumonia-like organisms) are the smallest bacterial cells between 0.1 and 0.3 mm. It is another term used for mycoplasmas.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia are gram-negative bacteria. This genus includes obligate intracellular parasites. This bacteria causes sexually transmitted infections in humans. Example – Chlamydia trachomatis.This genus is also known to cause infectious blindness.

They have a cell wall with both outer and inner membranes. Also, they are susceptible to antibiotics.

Also see: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Difference between Mycoplasma and Chlamydia

Mycoplasma

Chlamydia

They are eubacteria that lack a cell wall.

They are gram-negative bacteria that have a cell wall.

In general, they are antibiotic resistant.

They are susceptible to antibiotics.

They mostly cause respiratory tract infections.

They mostly cause eye and genitourinary tract infections.

They are mostly parasites, and some live as saprophytes.

They are obligate intracellular parasites.

Also Read: Mycoplasma vs Bacteria

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are most Mycoplasma antibiotic resistant?

Most of the antibiotics target the bacterial cell wall. Mycoplasma does not have a cell wall. Thus, they are inherently resistant to antibiotics like penicillin. However, other broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as erythromycin and azithromycin can act on them.

What are the similarities between Chlamydia and Mycoplasma?

Both Chlamydia and Mycoplasma are gram-negative bacteria. Most of them are obligate intracellular parasites. Also, they cause infections that are asymptomatic. Pneumonia (a respiratory tract infection) can be caused by either Mycoplasma pneumonia or even Chlamydia pneumonia.

Does Mycoplasma cause genital diseases?

Yes, of course. Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted pathogen that causes urinogenital infections in humans. Also, their symptoms are similar to that of Chlamydia.

What are mollicutes?

Mollicutes are nothing but parasites like Mycoplasma living on their host’s cells. Usually, mollicutes lack a cell wall. Also, Mycoplasma is the exclusively known genus in the mollicutes.

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