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Mycoplasma pneumoniae Somerson et al.


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Mycoplasma pneumoniae FH strain of Eaton Agent [NCTC 10119] is a whole genome-sequenced type strain strain and the first Mycoplasma known to be the etiological agent of a human disease. This strain was isolated by Hayflick from monkey kidney tissue-culture fluids of the FH strain (Eaton Agent Virus) supplied by C. Liu, who recovered this strain in embryonated eggs from a student with atypical pneumonia. This can be used in media testing, respiratory research, and pharmaceutical and personal care.
Product category
Strain designation
FH strain of Eaton Agent [NCTC 10119]
Type strain
Genome sequenced strain
Isolation source
Isolated by Hayflick from monkey kidney tissue-culture fluids of the FH strain (Eaton Agent Virus) supplied by C. Liu, who recovered this strain in embryonated eggs from a student with atypical pneumonia.
Infectious disease research
Respiratory disease research
Media testing
Quality control
Pharmaceutical testing
Product format
Storage conditions
2°C to 8°C
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Media testing
Respiratory research
Pharmaceutical and Personal Care
Recommended as a test microorganism for EP 2.6.7 Mycoplasmas
Recommended as a test microorganism for JP 16 G3 Biotechnological/Biological Products: Mycoplasma Testing for Cell Substrates Used for the Production of Biotechnological/Biological Products
Recommended as a test microorganism for USP <63> Mycoplasma Tests


First mycoplasma known to be the etiological agent of a human disease

Handling information

Broth: Aerobic
Plates: 5% CO2
Handling procedure
  1. Follow instructions as suggested for the culturing of Mollicutes


    1. Open the vial.
    2. Using a Pasteur or 1.0 mL pipette, withdraw approximately 0.5 to 1.0 mL from a tube or T-flask containing 2.5 mL. Rehydrate the pellet.
    3. Aseptically transfer this aliquot back into the tube. Mix well.
    4. Make serial dilutions by transferring 0.25 mL from the original tube or T-flask to a tube or T-flask containing 2.25 mL. Repeat process by transferring 0.25 mL from the second to a third tube or T-flask, etc. Dilutions are important, not only for titration purposes, but also to keep culture in varying stages of growth. Many strains will die out rapidly once acid or alkaline conditions are reached. It is recommended to prepare several dilutions from the initial tube as the cryoprotectant used in the freeze-drying process often inhibits growth.
    5. Use an uninoculated tube or T-flask of broth to serve as a control.
    6. Plates may be inoculated to check colonial morphology. You can also spot each dilution on the surface of plate (4 or more/plate) to determine the number of colony-forming units. However, not all strains do well on solid medium.
    7. Incubate all tubes or T-flasks and plates under the recommended conditions and appropriate temperature. The time necessary for growth will vary from strain to strain. Growth on plates generally requires additional incubation.
    8. Depending on the medium used, growth will be indicated by increased turbidity, a color change, or both. 
  1. Tubes or T-flasks are incubated aerobically; plates are incubated under 5% CO2. Using higher concentrations of CO2 will result in lowering the pH of the medium. The incubation temperature is 37°C.
  2. Mycoplasma pneumoniae strains are very slow growing and produce a very light turbidity. This strain usually takes at least seven to 14 days for the first tubes or T-flasks to start showing growth. Growth is easily recognized by an indicator change from red to orange to yellow. The cells are best transferred when the medium is orange. After medium changes to yellow, cells have started to die. Subsequent transfers should grow in a shorter span of  time.
  3. For long term storage of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, freeze-drying or freezing is recommended. Liquid nitrogen storage is the best method. Optimally grown cells are centrifuged at 9000 rpm for 30 minutes, the supernatant poured off, and the packed cells resuspended in a smaller amount of #988 broth. To this, add an equal amount of sterile 20% glycerol as a cryoprotectant. This suspension is aliquoted into small plastic vials and stored at -70°C or below.
Handling notes

Commercially available SP4 Glucose (Remel catalog # R112585 or #R20376 for broth, and Remel catalog # R20276 for agar) may yield the best growth.

This strain requires an additional 5% heat-­inactivated fetal bovine serum be added to ATCC Medium #988 or #2611 or SP4 Glucose broths to sustain growth of this strain.

The flasks should be checked to make sure media is not evaporating and to add media as needed to maintain the volume.

Purified genomic DNA of this strain is available (ATCC 15531D).

Additional information on this culture is available on the ATCC® web site at

Quality control specifications

Verification method
Whole-genome Sequencing


Deposited as
Mycoplasma pneumoniae Somerson et al.
L Hayflick
Chain of custody
ATCC <-- L Hayflick <-- C Liu
Cross references
GenBank M29061 M. pneumoniae 16S ribosomal RNA small subunit.
GenBank AF132740 Mycoplasma pneumoniae strain ATCC 15531 16S ribosomal RNA gene and 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer, complete sequence.
GenBank CP002077 Mycoplasma pneumoniae FH, complete genome

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Edward DG, Freundt EA. Type strains of species of the order Mycoplasmatales, including designation of neotypes for Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides, Mycoplasma agalactiae subsp. agalactiae, and Mycoplasma arthritidis. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 23: 55-61, 1973.

Chanock RM, et al. Growth on artificial medium of an agent associated with atypical pneumonia and its identification as a PPLO. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 48: 41-49, 1962. PubMed: 13878126

Liu C. Studies on primary atypical pneumonia. I. Localization, isolation, and cultivation of a virus in chick embryos. J. Exp. Med. 106: 455-466, 1957. PubMed: 13475605

Liu C, et al. Studies on primary atypical pneumonia. II. Observations concerning the development and immunological characteristics of antibody in patients. J. Exp. Med. 109: 545-556, 1959. PubMed: 13654627

British Pharmacopoeia Commission Tests for microbial contamination. London, UK:British Pharmacopoeia Commission;British Pharmacopoeia Appendix XVI B, 2003

View All Curated Citations for this Product

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