What is mycoplasma infection

Mycoplasmosis

English: Mycoplasmosis

1 definition

Mycoplasmosis are diseases caused by infection with mycoplasma. Mycoplasmas often lead to atypical pneumonia in school-aged children. Mycoplasma hominis causes urogenital infections in adults, which can lead to a perinatal infection of the newborn with severe respiratory symptoms and sepsis.

2 pathogens

Mycoplasmas are gram-negative, pleomorphic bacteria without a cell wall, which have a toxic influence on the metabolism of mucosal epithelial cells and can lead to a disruption of the mucocillary clearance of the respiratory tract.

Mycoplasma salivarium, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma oral cause respiratory infections. Mycoplasma hominis leads to urogenital infections in adults.

3 epidemiology

Humans are the only pathogen reservoir. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is transmitted by droplet infection, school children and young adults tend to get sick - around 20-30% of all pneumonias in this age group are caused by mycoplasma. The infections occur more frequently in the cold season. Major epidemics usually occur every 3 to 6 years.

Mycoplasma hominis is transmitted through sexual intercourse, the infection of the newborn takes place in the birth canal. The incubation period is two to three weeks.

4 symptoms

4.1 Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection

Typically, mycoplasma pneumonia begins with flu-like symptoms:

  • fever
  • a headache
  • Sore throat
  • cough

This then leads to tracheobronchitis or central pneumonia. The auscultation findings are typically low, but the x-ray findings are all the more pronounced. A fleeting moribilliform rash occurs in approx. 10-20% of cases.

4.2 Mycoplasma hominis infection

Infection with this pathogen leads to inflammation of the urogenital tract. Transmission to the newborn takes place during birth, whereupon the newborn can develop a serious respiratory disease, including sepsis.

5 diagnostics

  • X-ray examination: characteristic is the interstitial increase in markings. Perihilar and flat segmental densities as well as pleural infections can also be detected.
  • Laboratory: cold agglutinins can be detected in 50% of the cases of mycoplasma infection
  • Serology: The increase in IgM antibody titer is evidence of a fresh infection
  • Antigen detection and DNA detection with PCR

6 therapy

The gold standard for treating mycoplasma infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the administration of a macrolide, e.g. erythromycin or azithromycin. Urogenital infections caused by Mycoplasma hominis are treated with clindamycin or doxycycline.