Mycoplasmas are bacteria that lack a cell wall; they are 0.2–0.8 μm in diameter with complex nutritional requirements and require a rich growth medium containing serum. They do not survive for more than a few days outside the host and are vulnerable to common disinfectants.
Several Mycoplasma spp have been isolated from avian hosts; M gallisepticum, M iowae, M meleagridis, and M synoviae are the most important. Each has distinctive epidemiologic and pathologic characteristics.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by David H. Ley, DVM, PhD, DACVM, DACPV