Mycoplasma pneumoniae

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Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a class of bacteria that is responsible for mild illness in children and young adults. The bacteria cause infection of the upper and lower respiratory tract. In terms of severity, the infection can range from mild respiratory tract infection to severe pneumonia. M. pneumoniae are extracellular pathogens and their survival depends on attachment to the respiratory epithelium; this attachment to the membrane is facilitated by interactive adhesion and accessory proteins.

M. pnuemoniae can easily spread from person to person. It is usually passed from one to another through coughing and sneezing; droplets carry the bacteria that when inhaled by a healthy individual cause infection. Short-time exposure to an infected individual does not have an effect but long-time exposure can result in the infection via the bacteria. Crowded settings such as schools, colleges and hospitals are hotspots for infection flare-ups.

Transmission

Transmission

The symptoms are usually mild for the first few weeks and get worse later. The common symptoms of Mycoplasma pneumoniae are listed below:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Fever and chills

  3. Headache

  4. Shortness of breath

  5. Worsening cough lasting weeks to months

  6. Sore throat

Symptoms

Symptoms

Laboratory testing can help in diagnosing the M. pneumoniae infection. Infectolab Americas ELISpot (T-cell testing) and immunoassays (that detect antibodies) can be used in monitoring and managing the infection, while also taking the patient’s symptomology into account.

Testing

Testing

An infected individual usually recovers on their own without any medication. Drinking lots of fluid, getting rest and over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol for headaches will help in the case of a mild infection. If the pathogen caused severe lung infection, the HCP would start an antibiotic treatment to clear the infection. In some cases, severe complications may require hospitalization.

Avoid close contact with any person who is carrying the infection.

Treatment

Treatment

Available Tests for Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Mycoplasma pneumoniae ELISPOT

2 ACD Tubes (Yellow top)

Mycoplasma pneumoniae IgA and IgG

1 Serum Tube (Tiger top)

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