Clinical manifestations in infants and children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection

Mia Johanna Søndergaard, Martin Barfred Friis, Dennis Schrøder Hansen, Inger Merete Jørgensen

68 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia in older children. Pulmonary and extra-pulmonary symptoms associated with M. pneumoniae infection are reported. M. pneumoniae is mainly epidemic in Denmark with the recurrence every 4-7th year.

AIMS: Retrospectively, to describe the epidemiology and clinical features, in infants and children, during the M. pneumoniae epidemic in 2010 and 2011.

METHODS: All children under the age of 16 that were tested for M. pneumoniae during the period 01.02.2010-31.01.2012 were included. Medical charts, as well as radiological findings, were reviewed for all children with M. pneumoniae. A post-hoc analysis of viral co-infections was done on part of the cohort.

RESULTS: 134 of 746 children were tested positive for M. pneumoniae by PCR or serology. Positive tests were found in 65% of children seven years and older, in 30% of 2-6-year-olds and 4% of infants (less than two years of age). Viral co-infection was found in 27% of the tested samples. The clinical presentation was a cough, asthma-like symptoms and low-grade fever. Extra-pulmonary symptoms were common and presented as nausea/vomiting by 33% of the children and skin manifestations by 25%. 84% of the children had a chest x-ray taken, and there were positive radiological findings in 94% of these.

CONCLUSION: M. pneumoniae also affected infants and young children and symptoms were similar to infections with respiratory viruses, but severe LRTI were also seen. During an up-coming epidemic, assessment of extra-pulmonary manifestations can be helpful when diagnosing M. pneumoniae infections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)e0195288
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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