Donor-Derived Mycoplasma hominis and an Apparent Cluster of M. hominis Cases in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Invasive and disseminated Mycoplasma hominis infections are well recognized but uncommon complications in solid organ transplant recipients. In a single center, a cluster of M. hominis infections were identified in lung transplant recipients from the same thoracic intensive care unit (ICU). We sought to determine the source(s) of these infections.


Medical records of the donor and infected transplant recipients were reviewed for clinical characteristics. Clinical specimens underwent routine processing with subculture on Mycoplasma-specific Hayflick agar. Mycoplasma hominis identification was confirmed using sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Mycoplasma hominis isolates were subjected to whole-genome sequencing on the Illumina NextSeq platform.


Three lung transplant recipients presented with invasive M. hominis infections at multiple sites characterized by purulent infections without organisms detected by Gram staining. Each patient had a separate donor; however, pretransplant bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was only available from the donor for patient 1, which subsequently grew M. hominis. Phylo- and pangenomic analyses indicated that the isolates from the donor and the corresponding recipient (patient 1) were closely related and formed a distinct single clade. In contrast, isolates from patients 2 and 3 were unrelated and divergent from one another.


Mycoplasma hominis should be considered a cause of donor-derived infection. Genomic data suggest donor-to-recipient transmission of M. hominis. Additional patients co-located in the ICU were found to have genetically unrelated M. hominis isolates, excluding patient-to-patient transmission.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smibert, OC; Wilson, HL; Sohail, A; Narayanasamy, S; Schultz, MB; Ballard, SA; Kwong, JC; de Boer, J; Morrissey, CO; Peleg, AY; Snell, GI; Paraskeva, MA; Jenney, AWJ

Published Date

  • October 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1504 - 1508

PubMed ID

  • 29048510

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-6591

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1058-4838

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/cid/cix601


  • eng