It has been known for a number of years that organisms of the genus Mycoplasma can produce severe and often debilitating respiratorytract disease in birds, mice, rats, goats, sheep, and cattle.1-3 However, it was not until recently that a Mycoplasma organism was implicated in respiratory-tract disease of man.4 Recently, the Eaton agent, originally recovered in eggs in 1944, was successfully cultivated in a cell-free artificial agar medium.5-7 The organism propagated on agar medium was shown to be a Mycoplasma and was designated Mycoplasma pneumoniae.8 Previous studies had shown that this organism was the etiologic agent of cold agglutinin-positive atypical pneumonia.9,10 In addition, the agent had been associated with other milder forms of respiratorytract disease.11 In part, the role of M pneumoniae in human respiratory disease was established during a series of studies with volunteers.12,13
After the identification of the Eaton agent as a
Mufson MA, Ludwig WM, Purcell RH, Cate TR, Taylor-Robinson D, Chanock RM. Exudative Pharyngitis Following Experimental Mycoplasma hominis Type 1 Infection. JAMA. 1965;192(13):1146–1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080260034010
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