Issue: October 2011
October 01, 2011
1 min read

Mycoplasma pneumonia common cause of prolonged coughing illness in children

Wang K. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2011;doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e31822db5e2.

Issue: October 2011
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Mycoplasma pneumonia is a significant cause of respiratory infection in children with persistent cough and is associated with a shorter duration of cough than infection with Bordetella pertussis. However, detecting respiratory viruses does not add prognostic value in children with pertussis, according to a study published online.

Kay Wang, MRCGP of the department of primary health care at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues examined nasopharyngeal aspirates, blood aspirates and cough data from a cohort of 179 children aged 6 to 12 years who had a cough lasting more than 2 weeks.

They retrospectively analyzed blood samples, nasopharyngeal aspirates and cough duration data. Of these children, 37% had serologically confirmed B. pertussis. M. pneumoniae was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of nasopharyngeal aspirates and immunoglobulin M serology. Respiratory viruses (rhinoviruses, influenza, respiratory syncytial viruses and human metapneumovirus) were detected by PCR of nasopharyngeal aspirates.

The researchers said M. pneumoniae was present in 22 of 170 children, and children who had M. pneumoniae reported significantly shorter cough duration than children with B. pertussis (39 days compared with 118 days).

The researchers noted only three children who were coinfected with both respiratory viruses and M. pneumonia.

The study researchers said the prevalence of M. pneumoniae in children was about 11 in 155, or 7.1%, which was higher than children reported with just acute cough and fever.

The researchers said future areas of research should explore what effect macrolides play in ameliorating cough in children with these infections.

Disclosure: The study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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