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Mycoplasma pneumonia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 B96.0
ICD-9 483.0
MedlinePlus 000082
eMedicine emerg/467
MeSH D011019

Mycoplasma pneumonia is a form of bacterial pneumonia which is caused by the bacteria species Mycoplasma pneumoniae.



Disease from mycoplasma is usually mild to moderate in severity. The symptoms are usually mild enough that the patient may remain ambulatory throughout the illness. [1]


Mycoplasma pneumoniae is spread through respiratory droplet transmission. Once attached to the mucosa of a host organism, M. pneumoniae extracts nutrients, grows and reproduces by binary fission. Attachment sites include the upper and lower respiratory tract, causing pharyngitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. The infection caused by this bacterium is called atypical pneumonia because of its protracted course and lack of sputum production and wealth of extra-pulmonary symptoms. Chronic mycoplasma infections have been implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatological diseases.

Mycoplasma atypical pneumonia can be complicated by Stevens-Johnson syndrome, hemolytic anemia, encephalitis or Guillain-Barré syndrome.


M. pneumoniae infections can be differentiated from other types of pneumonia by the relatively slow progression of symptoms, a positive blood test for cold-hemagglutinins in 50-70% of patients after 10 days of infection (cold-hemagglutinin-test should be used with caution or not at all since 50% of the tests are false-positive), lack of bacteria in a gram-stained sputum sample, and a lack of growth on blood agar.

PCR has also been used.[2]


Second generation macrolide antibiotics, doxycycline and second generation quinolones are effective treatments.


  1. ^ page 344 in: Fisher, Bruce; Harvey, Richard P.; Champe, Pamela C.. Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Microbiology (Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews Series). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-8215-5.  
  2. ^ Waris ME, Toikka P, Saarinen T, et al. (November 1998). "Diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children". J. Clin. Microbiol. 36 (11): 3155–9. PMID 9774556. PMC 105292.  


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