Mary B Brown

Mary B Brown


Department: Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology
Business Phone: (352) 294-4029
Business Email:


Division G Lecturer
2001 · American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting
Program Committee
1998-2002 · 13th & 14th Congresses of the IOM
Chair, Division G
1998-1999 · American Society for Microbiology
Treasurer; Member, working teams on bovine, wildlife and zoological mycoplasmas, International Research Program on Comparative Mycoplasmology (IRPCM)
1992-1996 · International Organization for Mycoplasmology
1992-1996 · International Organization for Mycoplasmology
Division G Councilor; Fellow, Morris Animal Foundation
1992 · American Society for Microbiology
Division G. Councilor
1992 · American Society for Microbiology
Board of Directors
1990-1996 · International Organization for Mycoplasmology
Membership Secretary
1990-1992 · International Organization for Mycoplasmology

Research Profile

My laboratory is involved in defining the pathogenic mechanisms by which mycoplasmas cause both respiratory and urogenital infections. We work with a number of host species, including rodents, food and fiber animals, reptiles, and humans.

Emerging mycoplasmal infections in reptiles Recently we have been involved in the elucidation of the etiologic agent, characterization of clinical disease, and diagnosis of respiratory mycoplasmosis in two environmentally threatened species of tortoise and in American alligators. In experimental transmission studies designed to fulfill Koch’s postulates, we demonstrated that Mycoplasma agassizii was the etiologic agent of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) in both gopher and desert tortoises and that Mycoplasma alligatoris caused a septic lethal infection in alligators. We have developed serological diagnostic tests (ELISA) as well as a PCR based diagnostic tests to allow epidemiological surveys of large natural populations. We have ongoing investigations into mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis of these infections.

Recurrent urinary tract infection in women Urinary tract infections (UTI) represent a significant medical problem for women. The major infectious agents associated with UTI are Gram negative aerobic rods (primarily Escherichia coli) and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. However, as many as one third of women seen with clinical signs of UTI (dysuria, frequency, and urgency) are considered to have UTI which is “abacterial” in origin. Although the evidence for involvement of Ureaplasma urealyticum in nongonococcal urethritis and prostatitis in men is compelling, few studies have addressed the role of this microorganism in UTI in women. This prospective study will follow women from the onset of a clinical episode of UTI over a minimum one year period including periods of quiescence as well as any subsequent UTI. The overall objective of this project is determine the role of U. urealyticum both as an etiologic agent of UTI in women and as a potential risk factor for establishment of susceptibility to recurrent and chronic urinary tract infection.

Models of Intrauterine Infection Microbial infections of the chorioamnion and amniotic fluid have devastating effects on pregnancy outcome. Genital mycoplasmosis is a naturally occurring disease of rats that makes it ideally suited as a model to study the adverse effects of infectious agents in pregnancy as well as the immunomodulatory effects of infectious agents and their impact on reproductive function. We have demonstrated that M. pulmonis causes an ascending infection in Sprague Dawley rats which is characterized by placentitis and chorioamnionitis and results in significant fetal wastage and decreased birth weight. It is our hypothesis that an infectious agent could trigger host responses which have deleterious effects on pregnancy maintenance by altering the normal cytokine levels secreted for pregnancy regulation.

Mycoplasmosis in food and fiber animals Our laboratory is studying the role of an extracellular protease produced by Mycoplasma mycoides in virulence of mycoplasmal infections of goats. In addition, we have ongoing studies to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of M. bovis infections of dairy calves.

Tortoise Mycoplasma Testing More information about our lab’s Tortoise Mycoplasma Testing service can be found on the College’s Diagnostics Laboratory web-page.


2019 American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
2012 Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
2004 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology and Microbiology
2001 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology and Microbiology
2001 International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
2001 International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology


Mar 2020 ACTIVE
Project FZ02 Laboratory sample analysis and testing and storage, Desert Tortoise Pre-Translocation Analyses for MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, CA
TETRA TECH INC · Principal Investigator
Sep 2018 ACTIVE
Agassizs Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii) Post-Translocation Genetic Assimilation at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California
US NAVY · Principal Investigator
Mar 2016 ACTIVE
MULTIPLE FEDERAL AGENCIES · Principal Investigator
Dec 2015 – Nov 2016
Determining the levels of antibody to Mycoplasma
Jul 2014 – Jul 2017
Porphyromonas gingivalis strain specific effects on the
NATL INST OF HLTH NICHD · Principal Investigator
Apr 2007 – Apr 2017
Diagnosis, Serology, and PCR Detection of Mycoplasmas:
MULTIPLE SPONSORS · Principal Investigator
Sep 1998 – Jun 2020
CITY OF MONTGOMERY, AL · Principal Investigator


PhD – Biology
1984 · University of Alabama at Birmingham

Contact Details

(352) 294-4029

University of Florida


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