Advanced Search
Korean J Pediatr 2012 February;55(2) :42-47.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children
You-Sook Youn (Youn YS), Kyung-Yil Lee (Lee KY)
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Kyung-Yil Lee ,Tel: +82-42-220-9541, Fax: +82-42-221-2925, Email:
Copyright © 2012 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP), the smallest self-replicating biological system, is a common cause of upper and lower respiratory tract infections, leading to a wide range of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary manifestations. MP pneumonia has been reported in 10 to 40% of cases of community-acquired pneumonia and shows an even higher proportion during epidemics. MP infection is endemic in larger communities of the world with cyclic epidemics every 3 to 7 years. In Korea, 3 to 4-year cycles have been observed from the mid-1980s to present. Although a variety of serologic assays and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques are available for the diagnosis of MP infections, early diagnosis of MP pneumonia is limited by the lack of immunoglobulin (Ig) M antibodies and variable PCR results in the early stages of the infection. Thus, short-term paired IgM serologic tests may be mandatory for an early and definitive diagnosis. MP infection is usually a mild and self-limiting disease without specific treatment, and if needed, macrolides are generally used as a first-choice drug for children. Recently, macrolide-resistant MP strains have been reported worldwide. However, there are few reports of apparent treatment failure, such as progression of pneumonia to acute respiratory distress syndrome despite macrolide treatment. The immunopathogenesis of MP pneumonia is believed to be a hyperimmune reaction of the host to the insults from MP infection, including cytokine overproduction and immune cell activation (T cells). In this context, immunomodulatory treatment (corticosteroids or/and intravenous Ig), in addition to antibiotic treatment, might be considered for patients with severe infection.
Keywords: Mycoplasma pneumoniae | Pneumonia | Macrolides | Drug resistance | Child | Corticosteroids
PDF Links  PDF Links
Full text via DOI  Full text via DOI
  via Pubmed
Full text via PMC  Full text via PMC
via Pubreader  via PubReader
Download Citation  Download Citation
Supplementary Material  Supplementary Material
Mechanism of resistance acquisition and treatment of macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children  2017 June;60(6)
Prevalence and clinical manifestations of macrolide resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in Korean children  2017 May;60(5)
Hepatitis associated with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in Korean children: a prospective study  2015 June;58(6)
Mycoplasma pneumoniae associated stroke in a 3-year-old girl  2013 September;56(9)
Occurrence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae Pneumonia in Seoul, Korea, from 1986 to 1995  1997 May;40(5)
Register for e-submission
Register here to access the e-submission system of Korean J Pediatr for authors and reviewers.
Manuscript Submission
To submit a manuscript, please visit the Korean J Pediatr e-submission management system at, read the Instructions for Authors, and log into the Korean J Pediatr e-submission system. For assistance with manuscript submission, please contact:
Free archive
Anyone may access any past or current articles without logging in.
Korean Pediatric Society Office
#1606, Seocho World Officetel, 19 Seoun-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-070, Korea
TEL : +82-2-3473-7305    FAX : +82-2-3473-7307   E-mail:
BrowseCurrent IssueFor Authors and ReviewersAbout
Copyright© The Korean Pediatric Society. All right reserved.