Microbiological analyses

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Clinical manifestations

M. pneumonia is the infective agent responsible of the 5-10% of atypical pneumonia, of the 80% of trachea-bronchitis and of the 10-20% of serious breathing apparatus infection. The most frequent symptoms are rhinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, cough and fever. The majority part of the infections appears in children and in young adults. Complications dued to an infection of M. pneumonia are myocarditis or pericarditis, arthritis and others neurological manifestations.
M. pneumonia is a intracellular pathogen. It doesn’t possess a cell wall, so, for what regards the antibiotic treatment, such as penicillin and cephalosporin are not active. It’s necessary to use antibiotics which can penetrate and get efficient concentrations inside cells, such as macrolide and tetracycline.



Mycoplasma pneumonia was described in 1942 from Eaon, and it was firstly considered a viral agent. Just in 60s it was recognized as a bacterium, which means that it was sensible to the antibiotic therapy.
Epidemics provoked by M. pneumonia appear about every 4-7 years. The infection can appear during every periods of the year, without a particular seasonal incidence. The infection of M. pneumonia is not highly contagious. It’s true that it’s necessary a close and long contact to be infected. Very frequent are epidemics in particular communities: prisons, hospitals, etc.
The incubation period is about 14-21 days.



The PCR is nowadays the most rapid and sensible method to highlight the bacterium. The amplification allows to highlight a highly conserved region of the gene P1, an adhesion protein.


Sample taking

Naso-pharynx smear, expectorate, naso-pharynx secrete, broncho-alveolar washing, etc.

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