Mycoplasma pneumonia is an infection of the lungs by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae). This type of pneumonia is also called atypical pneumonia because the symptoms are different from those of pneumonia due to other common bacteria.People who live or work in crowded areas such as schools and homeless shelters have a high chance of getting this condition. But many people who get sick with it have no known risk factors.
Many pathogens can cause CAP. A South Australian study of 106 adults admitted to hospital with CAP in 1987–1988 found that the most common cause was S. pneumoniae ("pneumococcus") (42%), followed by respiratory viruses (18%), Haemophilus influenzae (9%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae and enteric gram-negative bacteria (8% each), Chlamydia psittaci (5%), Staphylococcus aureus, Legionella spp. and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (3% each).More recent overseas studies have shown that S. pneumoniae is still the most common pathogen overall, followed possibly by M. pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae.
MP is a bacterial infection the first line of treatment is antibiotics. Antibiotics must differ for children to avoid any potentially dangerous side effects. Macrolides, the first choice of antibiotics for children, include: erythromycin, clarithromycin, roxithromycin, azithromycin. Antibiotics prescribed for adults include: doxycycline, tetracycline, quinolones, Corticosteroids. Not all people respond to antibiotic treatment. Treatment for those who are unresponsive to antibiotics or complications of illness include corticosteroids: prednisolone, methylprednisone, Immunomodulatory Therapy.
Future studies, with new molecular techniques to better detect infections due to the wide range of pathogens, will broaden our understanding of the cause of pneumonia and may highlight which pathogens should be the targets for new vaccines. Despite the lack of data, mainly for the developing regions of the world, morbidity and mortality estimates and the main risk factors presented in this review could contribute to an understanding of the burden of acute lower respiratory infections in children aged less than 5 years.