Mycoplasmic pneumonia (PD) is a type of bacteria that can cause many symptoms, including a dry cough, fever, and mild shortness of breath on exertion.
the Mycoplasmic pneumonia bacteria is one of the most recognized of all human pathogens, and there are
Most people with respiratory infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae do not develop pneumonia. For this reason, PD is known as atypical pneumonia and is sometimes referred to as ambulatory pneumonia.
Once inside the body, the bacteria can attach to your lung tissue and multiply until a full infection develops.
Among these, Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes the most infections, although only about 10% of those infected will actually develop pneumonia.
The bacteria can also cause tracheobronchitis (common cold), sore throat and ear infections, in addition to pneumonia.
Learn more about pneumonia.
The immune system can fight PD in many healthy adults before it turns into an infection. Most at risk
- the elderly
- people with diseases that compromise their immune system, such as HIV, or who take chronic steroids, immunotherapy or chemotherapy
- people with lung disease
- people with sickle cell anemia
- children under 5
Symptoms of PD are different from those of typical pneumonia caused by common bacteria, such as Streptococcus and Haemophilus.
Patients usually do not have severe shortness of breath, a high fever, and a productive cough with PD. Instead, they have a mild fever, a dry cough, slight shortness of breath (especially on exertion), and fatigue.
PD can mimic an upper respiratory infection or a common cold rather than a lower respiratory infection or pneumonia. A dry cough is the most common sign of infection. Other symptoms
In rare cases, the infection can become dangerous and damage the heart or central nervous system. Examples of these disorders are:
In rare cases, PD can be fatal.
In some cases, an MP infection can become dangerous. If you have asthma, PD can make your symptoms worse. PD can also progress to a more serious case of pneumonia.
Long-term PD is rare, but some research
Other potential complications of PD
See your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms, especially if they last longer than 2 weeks.
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for PD. Children are given different antibiotics than adults to avoid potentially dangerous side effects.
Macrolides, the first choice of antibiotics for children, include:
Antibiotics prescribed for adults include:
Sometimes antibiotics alone are not enough and you need to be treated with corticosteroids to manage the inflammation. Examples of these corticosteroids are:
If you have severe PD, you may need another ‘immunomodulator therapy’ in addition to corticosteroids, including intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG.
PD usually develops without noticeable symptoms during the first 1 to 3 weeks after exposure. Diagnosis at an early stage is difficult because the body does not instantly reveal an infection.
The infection can start outside your lungs. If this happens, signs of infection may include ruptured red blood cells, a rash, and joint damage.
In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor
The risk of contracting PD peaks in the fall and winter. Closed or overcrowded places make it easier for the infection to pass from person to person.
To reduce your risk of infection, try the following:
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Avoid people with symptoms of PD.
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands before eating or after interacting with infected people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, M. pneumoniae is the
Most people develop antibodies to PD after an acute infection, which protects them from re-infection. Patients with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV or people taking chronic steroids, immunomodulators or chemotherapy, may be at higher risk of re-infection.
For others, symptoms should go away 1 to 2 weeks after treatment. A cough may persist, but most cases resolve without lasting consequences within 4 to 6 weeks.
See your doctor if you continue to have severe symptoms or if the infection is interfering with your daily life. You may need to seek treatment or a diagnosis for any other condition that your PD infection may have caused.