Pneumonia, mycoplasma

Notes
  • Mycoplasma bacteria are ubiquitous and the smallest known free-living life forms
  • They reside extracellularly in the respiratory and urogenital tracts (though they can be systemic in case of immunosuppression)
  • Mycoplasma bacteria do not have cell wall, hence they cannot be detected by Gram-staining. For the same reason, they are not susceptible to beta-lactams.
  • Their pathology is mainly immune-mediated
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia (also known as “walking pneumonia” due to its mild form of manifestation) is type of atypical bacterial pneumonia that is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It is mainly a self-limiting disease (though it can be severe in isolated cases).
  • It is the most common agent that causes bacterial pneumonia in people who stay close together e.g. family members, students and military officers.
  • People at the risk of developing mycoplasma pneumonia are elderly, immunosuppressed, people with lung and sickle cell disease.
  • Statistics: incidence of 2M cases annually in USA (data not available for developing countries); it is responsible for about 20% of pneumonia in a community.
Symptoms
  • Dry cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild shortness of breath moreso with exertion
  • Fatigue
  • In rare cases symptoms of the following diseases can be manifested: arthritis, pericarditis, encephalitis, renal failure, anemia, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis
Diagnosis
  • Clinical review
  • Chest-X rays
  • CT scan
  • Full Blood Count
Differential
  • TB
  • Severe anemia
  • Asthma
  • Foreign body aspiration
  • Malaria
  • Cardiac disease
Prevention
  • None
Management

##For children and adults;

  • Erythromycin 
  • Clarithromycin
  • Roxithromycin
  • Azithromycin

##For adults;

  • Doxycycline 
  • Tetracycline
  • Levofloxacin or Moxifloxacin or other quinolones

## Corticosteroids therapy

  • Predinisolone
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