The characteristics and epidemiology of Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a bacterium that causes acute respiratory illness, ranging in severity from mild respiratory illness to severe pneumonia.
The bacterium can be fatal for a small number of people and has on rare occasions been associated with severe complications such as encephalitis.
Most laboratory reports are of infection in children aged from 5 to 14 years, and adults aged 30 to 39 years.
The infection is found in patients of all ages, including children under 5 years and occasionally in adults aged 65 years and over.
There is no vaccine against Mycoplasma pneumoniae but it is susceptible to a range of antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance to macrolides is increasing globally.
The Respiratory and vaccine preventable bacteria reference unit (RVPBRU) offers confirmatory testing of mycoplasma infection.