Using a modified cell-free culture medium, a mycoplasma was isolated from sarcoid lymph nodes in two cases and from sarcoid skin lesions in four out of seven cases of chronic sarcoidosis. Growth inhibition tests showed that the isolates were related to Mycoplasma orale type 1. By the indirect haemagglutination method, 244 cases of definite or probable sarcoidosis, 160 patients with other diseases, and 355 blood donors were tested for antibodies against an isolated mycoplasma (strain 215-M). Titres [unk] 16 were found in 14% of the patients with sarcoidosis and in 8% of the patients with other diseases but only in 0·6% of the blood donors. The proportion of patients with high antibody titres among those with sarcoidosis and erythema nodosum was smaller (8%) than among those with other forms of sarcoidosis (17%).
The role of the mycoplasmas isolated from sarcoid tissues remains obscure, but it is possible that these organisms are only an expression of altered immunity in sarcoidosis.
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