Difference between Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma

Mycoplasma

It is a group of bacteria that do not have a cell wall enveloping their cell membranes. Thus, they can easily change their shape and are termed pleomorphic. They can be saprophytic or parasitic. Mycoplasmas are the smallest bacterial species that can be seen in various shapes. Most of them are known to cause infectious diseases. Examples – Mycoplasma pneumoniae, M. genitalium.

They belong to class Mollicutes and order Mycoplasmatales. They mostly use arthropods and humans as their hosts.

Ureaplasma

They also belong to class Mollicutes and order Mycoplasmatales but form a different genus called Ureaplasma. They also lack a rigid cell wall and are found to cause infections in the urinogenital tracts of humans. These bacteria are mostly transmitted sexually or from mother to newborn. Most bacteria of this genus can perform urea hydrolysis. Examples – Ureaplasma urealyticum, Ureaplasma diversum.

Both Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma are infectious agents that are associated with cancer, sexually transmitted infections, infertility and infant mortality.

Also see: Difference between Mycoplasma and Bacteria

Difference between Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma

Mycoplasma

Ureaplasma

Mycoplasma is a separate genus under order Mycoplasmatales.

Ureaplasma is another genus under Mycoplasmatales.

It can be parasitic or saprophytic.

It is parasitic.

They cannot hydrolyse urea.

A few species can hydrolyse urea.

It also affects the respiratory tract other than urinogenital tract.

It mostly affects the urinogenital tract of humans.

Examples – Mycoplasma pneumoniae, M. genitalium.

Examples – Ureaplasma urealyticum, Ureaplasma diversum.

Also Read: Difference between Mycoplasma and Chlamydia

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma

What are PPLO?

PPLO means pleuro-pneumonia like organisms. It is another term used to denote Mycoplasmas. They are often found in the pleural cavities of cattle that suffer from pneumonia. They are also referred to as MLO or mycoplasma-like organisms.

What are pleomorphic bacteria?

Pleomorphic bacteria can change their morphology in response to external conditions. Also, they can alter their metabolic and reproductive behaviours. Thus, they cannot be categorised as coccoid, curved, rod-shaped or club-shaped.

What are mollicutes?

They are a class that includes bacteria without a cell wall. They typically include small bacteria with smaller genome size. Most of them are parasites that are found attached to the urinogenital or respiratory tract. Sometimes, the term mollicutes are used exclusively to refer to the genus Mycoplasma.

Explore: Cell Wall and Cell Membrane

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