Colonization of paediatric lower respiratory tract with genital Mycoplasma species

Author Department


Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Recently, much attention has been given to the possible role played by pathogens that colonize neonatal or paediatric airway and their potential involvement in chronic respiratory disease. The goal of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of Mycoplasma organisms in the BAL fluid of paediatric patients suffering from a variety of chronic respiratory diseases to determine if there was any clear disease association with bacterial presence. METHODS: We examined 319 paediatric BAL samples for the presence of M.genitalium, M.hominis, U.urealyticum, U.parvum and M.pneumoniae DNA with species-specific PCR. RESULTS: Mycoplasma DNA was found in 32.6% (104/319) of patient samples; 10% (32/319) for M.pneumoniae, 8.8% for U.parvum, 2.8% for U.urealyticum; 4.7% for M.hominis and 9.1% for M.genitalium. There were no significant clinical and laboratory differences except serum IgE in asthmatics according to Mycoplasma colonization or not. Elevated levels of IgE were found more often in Mycoplasma DNA-negative patients than patients with bacterial DNA, 85/109 versus 24/109 respectively (P<0.0001). There was no difference in the frequency of Mycoplasmas between the asthmatics and the non-asthmatics; 30.6% (69/225) versus 37.2% (35/94) for Mycoplasma 16S DNA, and 8% versus 14.9% for M.pneumoniae, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that in addition to M.pneumoniae, urogenital Mycoplasma species may colonize the airway of patients with chronic respiratory diseases. There was, however, no association between chronic asthma diagnosis and Mycoplasma colonization in this study. © 2011 The Authors. Respirology © 2011 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.

Publication ISSN