Microbiology: The Elusive PPLO

The elusive little bugs are smaller than typical bacteria but are generally bigger than true viruses. Even with an electron microscope they are so difficult to corner and classify that their very name is vague—PPLO (for pleuropneumonia-like organisms). But these days that name keeps popping up in lab reports from all over the world.* The baffling microbes have already been indicted for complicity in causing diseases ranging from puerperal (childbed) fever to the "viral pneumonia" that afflicts so many recruits in boot camps. Now they are even being suspected as a possible cause of cancer.

Breakout After Stress. Like viruses,...

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