Michael Calcutt, PhD

Michael Calcutt, PhD

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Veterinary Pathobiology
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology



Dr. Calcutt’s research focuses on aspects of the molecular genetics and pathogenesis of Mycoplasmas, a diverse genus of cell wall-less bacteria that includes many important pathogens of food animals and humans. In the absence of a cell wall, the single limiting membrane represents the unique and critical interface between the pathogen and host. Understanding the repertoire, function and potential antigenic variation of surface membrane proteins is one of the on-going research interests in the laboratory, with particular emphasis on the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster of ruminant pathogens. In collaboration with Dr. Kim Wise (MMI, MU), the complete genome sequence of one member of this cluster, M. capricolum subsp. capricolum, is being determined at the institution for Systems Biology (Seattle, WA). Analysis of the sequence generated to date has already led to the identification of two families of surface proteins, that are predicted to undergo high frequency phase variation (a reversible molecular switch in expression status) that may contribute to host adaptation. The genome sequencing project and surface protein variation studies are supported by the USDA/ARS Program for Prevention of Animal Infectious Diseases (PPAID). A second research interest is in the function and mobility of several novel genetic elements that have been identified recently. Among these are ICEF and ICEC (integrative, conjugal elements of M. fermentans and M. capricolum, respectively) the first members of a new family of mycoplasma genetic element. These elements contain homologs of plasmid conjugation genes, but are integrated into the chromosomes of certain mycoplasma species. The elements are flanked by direct repeats that are likely generated by target site duplication (which is a hallmark of integrating mobile DNAs). As ICEF and ICEC lack recognizable homologs of integrases or recombinases, it is anticipated that novel proteins are responsible for promoting the integration/excision of these elements.

Academic Information

Veterinary Pathobiology
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


313 Connaway Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

P. 573-882-1291

Research Interests

  • Molecular biology of mycoplasmas

Areas of Expertise

  • Bacterial Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Bacteriology
  • Microbial Pathogenesis

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

1988, PhD, Leicester University, UK


Johnson, G.C., W.H. Fales, B. Shoemake, P.R.F. Adkins, J.R. Middleton, F. Williams III, M. Zinn, W. J. Mitchell and M. J. Calcutt. 2018.An outbreak of Mycoplasma mycoidessubspecies capriarthritis in young goats: a case study. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (submitted).

Brown, D.R., M. May, J.M. Bradbury, M.F. Balish, M.J. Calcutt, J.I. Glass, S. Tasker, J.B. Messick, K.–E. Johansson and H. Neimark. 2018. Mycoplasmain Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria.Wiley OnlineLibrary. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118960608.gbm01263.pub2

Calcutt, M.J., I. Lysnyansky, K. Sachse, L. K. Fox, R. A. J. Nicholas and R. D. Ayling. 2018. Gap analysis ofMycoplasma bovisdisease, diagnosis and control: An aid to identify future development requirements. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12860. PMID: 29582590

Adkins, P.R.F., S. Dufour, J. N. Spain, M. J. Calcutt, T. J. Reilly, G.C. Stewart and  J.R. Middleton.2018. Molecular characterization of non-aureus Staphylococcusspp. from heifer intramammary infections and body sites. Journal of Dairy Science pii: S0022-302(18)30215-7. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-13910. PMID: 29525303

Adkins, P.R.F., S. Dufour, J. N. Spain, M. J. Calcutt, T. J. Reilly, G. C. Stewart and J.R. Middleton.2018. Cross-sectional study of teat and inguinal skin colonization of dairy heifers with various staphylococcal species. Journal of Dairy Science 101:3213-3225. PMID: 29397170

Fortin, J., M.J. Calcutt, D.-Y. Kim.2017. Sublingual pythiosis in a cat. Acta Veterinaria   Scandinavica 59:63 DOI 10.1186/s13028-017-0330-z.PMID: 28950884

Adkins, P.R.F., J.R. Middleton, M.J. Calcutt, G.C. Stewart, and  L.K. Fox. 2017. Speciation and strain-typing of Staphylococcus agnetisand Staphylococcus hyicusisolated from bovine milk using a novel multiplex PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 55:1778-1788. PMID: 28330895

Fortin, J., M.J. Calcutt, D. Nagy and K. Kuroki.2017. Intestinal Histoplasmosis in a captive reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), Missouri, USA. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48:925-928. PMID: 28920817

P. Hosack, G. Miller, L. Sweets, M.J. Calcuttand B. Arenz. 2016. First report of Goss’s Bacterial Wilt and Leaf Blight on Corn Caused by Clavibacter michiganensissubsp. nebraskensisin Missouri. Plant Disease 100:2158.

Taylor, H.L., S.T. Spagnoli, M.J. Calcuttand D.-Y. Kim.2016. An Outbreak of aberrant Ascaris suuminfection in cattle, Missouri, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases 22:339-340. PMID: 26812585

Calcutt, M.J., and M.F. Foecking. 2015. Complete Genome Sequence of Kocuria palustrisMU14/1.Genome Announcements 3(5). pii: e01195-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.01195-15. PMID: 26472837

Calcutt, M.J., B. Szikriszt, Á. Póti, J. Molnár, J. Gervai, G. E. Tusnády, M.F. Foecking and D Szüts. 2015 Genome sequence analysis of Mycoplasma sp. HU2014 isolated from tissue culture. Genome Announcements 3(5). pii: e01086-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01086-15. PMID: 26383655

Calcutt, M.J., and M.F. Foecking. 2015. An excision-competent and exogenous mosaic transposon harbours the tetMgene in multiple Mycoplasma hominislineages.  Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy59:6665-6666. pii: AAC.01382-15. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26195506 

Calcutt, M.J., and M.F. Foecking. 2015. Complete genome sequence of Mycoplasma hominisstrain Sprott (ATCC 33131) isolated from a patient with non-gonococcal urethritis. Genome Announcements 3(4). pii: e00771-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00771-15. PMID: 26159538

Calcutt, M.J., and M.F. Foecking. 2015. Comparative analysis of the Mycoplasma capricolumsubsp. capricolumGM508D genome reveals subrogation of phase-variable contingency genes and a novel integrated genetic element. FEMS Pathogens and Disease 73(6). pii: ftv041. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftv041. PMID: 26040761

Calcutt, M.J., B.N. Kent, and M.F. Foecking. 2015. Complete Genome Sequence of Mycoplasma yeatsii GM274B (ATCC 43094).  Genome Announcements 3(2). pii: e00328-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00328-15.PMID: 25908137

Calcutt, M.J., M.F. Foecking, M.B. Heidari, and M.A. McIntosh. 2015. The Complete Genome Sequence of Mycoplasma flocculare Ms42T(ATCC 27399T). Genome Announcements 3(2). pii: e00124-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00124-15. PMID: 25767245

Calcutt, M.J.,and M.F. Foecking. 2015. Analysis of the complete Mycoplasma hominisLBD-4 genome sequence reveals strain variable prophage insertion and distinctive repeat-containing surface protein arrangements.  Genome Announcements 3(1). pii: e01582-14;  doi:10.1128/genomeA.01582-14. PMID: 25720686

Calcutt, M.J., M.F. Foecking, H.–Y. Hsieh, P.R.F. Adkins, G.C. Stewart, and J.R. Middleton. 2015. Sequence analysis of Staphylococcus hyicusATCC 11249T, an etiological agent of exudative epidermitis in swine, reveals a type VII secretion system locus and a novel 116-kb genomic island harboring toxin encoding genes.  Genome Announcements 3(1). pii: e01525-14. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01525-14. PMID: 25700402