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Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma pneumoniae

causes 15 to 20% of community-acquired pneumonia (atypical pneumonia) in older children and adults and a variety of respiratory tract infections in younger children. It is spread by close personal contact and has a long incubation period.

M. pneumoniae

infections occur sporadically throughout the year while outbreaks tend to occur in late summer and fall. Epidemics tend to occur every 4-8 years in the general population and tend to be more frequent within closed populations.
The spectrum of M. pneumoniae infection has been extended to endocarditis and myocarditis where it appears to be an important cause of death in infected patients.

Symptoms
Typical symptoms include fever, cough, bronchitis, sore throat, headache and malaise. Since clinical examination does not enable to differentiate between the etiological agents responsible for primary atypical pneumonia, diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection relies mainly on laboratory tests.

Diagnosis
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is difficult to culture, it is successful in only 40-90% of cases and requires 2-3 weeks to grow. The organism can also resides in the respiratory tract for several weeks without causing infection. Therefore, isolation of the organism may not indicate acute infection.
The routine laboratory methods for diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection are based primarily on serological analysis of the patient’s serum. ELISA methods provide high sensitivity and specificity and enable a differential determination of specific IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies.
The presence of IgM antibodies in a single serum sample provides evidence for an acute, either current or recurrent, infection. A negative result does not rule out acute infection, since the specimen may have been collected before detectable antibody is present or after the antibody level has decreased below detectable levels. Therefore, a significant change in IgG and/or IgA antibodies titers (particularly in elderly populations), between paired samples drawn 2-3 weeks apart, should be sought in order to confirm M. pneumoniae infection. Detection of IgA antibodies is of diagnostic value in coronary artery disease patients. It was reported that high IgA antibody titers independently and significantly can predict an increased hazard of death or MI events in patients with severe, angiographically-defined coronary artery disease. This finding provides further evidence for the association between M. pneumoniae and coronary artery disease.

SeroMP IgG, IgM, IgA
SeroMP Recombinant IgG, IgM, IgA 

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