Research Papers:

Association of Mycoplasma hominis infection with prostate cancer

Yulia A. Barykova, Denis Yu. Logunov, Maxim M. Shmarov, Andrei Z. Vinarov, Dmitry N. Fiev, Natalia A. Vinarova, Irina V. Rakovskaya, Patricia Stanhope Baker, Inna Shyshynova, Andrew J. Stephenson, Eric A. Klein, Boris S. Naroditsky, Alexander L. Gintsburg and Andrei V. Gudkov _

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Oncotarget. 2011; 2:289-297. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.256

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Yulia A. Barykova1, Denis Yu. Logunov1, Maxim M. Shmarov1, Andrei Z. Vinarov2, Dmitry N. Fiev2, Natalia A. Vinarova2, Irina V. Rakovskaya1, Patricia Stanhope Baker3, Inna Shyshynova3,5, Andrew J. Stephenson4, Eric A. Klein4, Boris S. Naroditsky1, Alexander L. Gintsburg1 and Andrei V. Gudkov3,5

1 N.F. Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow, Russia

2 I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia

3 Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., Buffalo, NY, USA

4 Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

5 Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA

Keywords: PCR, diagnostics, prostate biopsies, prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, benign prostate hyperplasia

Received: March 23, 2011; Accepted: April 4, 2011; Published: April 4, 2011;


Andrei V. Gudkov, e-mail:


The origin of chronic inflammation preceding the development of prostate cancer (PCa) remains unknown.  We investigated possible involvement of mycoplasma infection in PCa by screening prostate biopsies from two groups of Russian men undergoing PCa diagnosis. M. hominis was detected by standard PCR in 15% of the 125 patients in the first group and by quantitative real-time PCR in 37.4% of the 123 men in the second group. In both groups, stratification of patients according to diagnosis showed that M. hominis was present at three times higher frequency in patients with PCa than in those with benign prostatic hyperplasia. No M. hominis was detected in the prostates of 27 men without detectable prostate disease. In addition, PCa-positive men had higher titers of antibodies against M. hominis and average PSA levels were higher in M. hominis-positive men.  These data, together with previous observations linking mycoplasma infection with cell transformation, genomic instability and resistance to apoptosis, suggest that M. hominis infection may be involved in PCa development and may, therefore, be a potential PCa marker and/or target for improved prevention and treatment of this disease.

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