Widely used, commercially available Chlamydia pneumoniae antigen contaminated with mycoplasma.

Research paper by R P RP Verkooyen, M M Sijmons, E E Fries, A A Van Belkum, H A HA Verbrugh

Indexed on: 01 May '97Published on: 01 May '97Published in: Journal of medical microbiology


Mycoplasma contamination was detected in a widely used commercially available Chlamydia pneumoniae antigen preparation. Contamination was studied with a mycoplasma group-specific 16S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. Several lots of the purified C. pneumoniae antigen from the Washington Research Foundation appeared to be contaminated with the same Mycoplasma species, which appeared to be closely related to M. arginini. Antigen slides prepared for the detection of chlamydia antibodies by MRL Diagnostics were contaminated with the same Mycoplasma sp. Chlamydia antigen slides from Labsystems OY and two chlamydia complement fixation reagents (Virion International Distribution Ltd and Behring Werke) were not contaminated. It is concluded that commercially available C. pneumoniae antigens may contain mycoplasma antigens as well. Although the impact of such mycoplasma contamination on the results of chlamydia serology may not be significant, routine screening of all antigen preparations obtained by tissue culture before their distribution and use is recommended.