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Korean J Pediatr 2017 June;60(6) :167-174.
Published online 2017 June 15.        doi:
Mechanism of resistance acquisition and treatment of macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children
Hyeon-Jong Yang1, Dae Jin Song2, Jung Yeon Shim3
1Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Pediatrics, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Jung Yeon Shim ,Tel: +82-2-2001-2484, Fax: +82-2-2001-2199, Email:
Copyright © 2017 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is one of the most common forms of community-acquired pneumonia in children and adolescents. Outbreaks of MPP occur in 3- to 7-year cycles worldwide; recent epidemics in Korea occurred in 2006–2007, 2011, and 2015–2016. Although MPP is known to be a mild, self-limiting disease with a good response to macrolides, it can also progress into a severe and fulminant disease. Notably, since 2000, the prevalence of macrolide-resistant MPP has rapidly increased, especially in Asian countries, recently reaching up to 80%–90%. Macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MRMP) harbors a point mutation in domain V of 23S rRNA with substitutions mainly detected at positions 2063 and 2064 of the sequence. The excessive use of macrolides may contribute to these mutations. MRMP can lead to clinically refractory pneumonia, showing no clinical or radiological response to macrolides, and can progress to severe and complicated pneumonia. Refractory MPP is characterized by an excessive immune response against the pathogen as well as direct injury caused by an increasing bacterial load. A change of antibiotics is recommended to reduce the bacterial load. Tetracyclines or quinolones can be alternatives for treating MRMP. Otherwise, corticosteroid or intravenous immunoglobulin can be added to the treatment regimen as immunomodulators to down-regulate an excessive host immune reaction and alleviate immune-mediated pulmonary injury. However, the exact starting time point, dose, or duration of immunomodulators has not been established. This review focuses on the mechanism of resistance acquisition and treatment options for MRMP pneumonia.
Keywords: Mycoplasma pneumoniae | Pneumonia | Macrolides | Drug resistance | Child
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Supplementary Material  Supplementary Material
Additional corticosteroids or alternative antibiotics for the treatment of macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia  2017 August;60(8)
Prevalence and clinical manifestations of macrolide resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in Korean children  2017 May;60(5)
Predictive value of C-reactive protein in response to macrolides in children with macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia  2014 April;57(4)
Increased risk of refractory Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children with atopic sensitization and asthma  2014 June;57(6)
Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children  2012 February;55(2)
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