General Information: Causes respiratory disease in birds. This genus currently comprises more than 120 obligate parasitic species found in a wide spectrum of hosts, including humans, animals, insects and plants. The primary habitats of human and animal mycoplasmas are mucous membranes of the respiratory and urogenital tracts, eyes, mammary glands and the joints. Infection that proceeds through attachment of the bacteria to the host cell via specialized surface proteins, adhesins, and subsequent invasion, results in prolonged intracellular persistence that may cause lethality. Once detected in association with their eukaryotic host tissue, most mycoplasmas can be cultivated in the absence of a host if their extremely fastidious growth requirements are met.