Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Mycoplasma canis

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd




  • Class: Mollicutes.
  • Order: Mycoplasmatales.
  • Family: Mycoplasmataceae.
  • Genus: Mycoplasma.
  • Species: canis.


  • Gk: myco - fungus; plasma - form; mycoplasma - a fungus form.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Occurs as free-living saprophyte or parasite.
  • Found on mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal, genital and respiratory tracts.
  • May be commensals.


  • Reproduce by binary fission; may develop into filamentous forms before dividing.
  • Possess circular double-stranded DNA genome.


  • Important modes of transmission are:
    • Aerosol.
    • Venereal.
    • Vertical (in utero or via the egg).
    • Indirect via fomites (less frequent).

Pathological effects

  • Diseases caused Mycoplasmosis :
    • Pneumonia Lung: bacterial pneumoniaM. canis has been isolated from pneumonic lungs, but following experimental infection no disease produced.
    • Urinary tract disease CystitisM. canis often isolated in mixed culture along with bacteria.
    • Endometritis/infertility - again M. canis isolated in mixed culture with other pathogens.
    • Colitis Colitis: overviewM. canis occasionally isolated from colonic biopsies from dogs with colitis Colitis: overview.

Other Host Effects

  • May be present in natural flora in dogs.


Control via chemotherapies


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jang S S, Ling G V, Yamamoto R et al (1984) Mycoplasmas as a cause of canine urinary tract infection. JAVMA 185 (1), 45-47 PubMed.
  • Rosendal S (1982) Canine mycoplasmas: their ecologic niche and role in disease. JAVMA 180 (10), 1212-1214 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Rosendal S (1995) Mycoplasma infections of dogs and cats. In: Current Veterinary Therapy XII Eds: Bonagura J D and Kirk R W, Philadelphia, WB Saunders, pp 301-2.