This characteristic makes them naturally resistant to many common antibiotics such as penicillin or other beta-lactam antibiotics that target cell wall synthesis. They can be parasitic or saprotrophic. Several species are pathogenic in humans, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which is an important cause of atypical pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, and M. genitalium, which is believed to be involved in pelvic inflammatory diseases. Mycoplasma species are the smallest bacterial cells yet discovered, can survive without oxygen, and come in various shapes. For example, Mycoplasma genitalium is flask-shaped (about 300 x 600 nm), while Mycoplasma pneumoniae is more elongated (about 100 x 1000 nm). Hundreds of mycoplasma species infect animals.
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