Rapid Detection of Mycoplasma Pneumoniae in Clinical Samples by Real-Time PCR

J Microbiol Methods. 2000 Jun;41(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7012(00)00135-4.


M. pneumoniae is a common causative agent of community-acquired pneumonia in children. The diagnosis of such infections is usually based on serology using complement fixation or, more recently, enzyme-immuno assays. PCR has been shown to be a promising alternative. We have evaluated a real-time PCR assay targeting the P1 adhesion protein gene and compared it to a conventional semi-nested PCR assay with the 16S rDNA as target. Comparison of 147 specimens from 48 patients showed an overall agreement of 97.4%. Real-time PCR proved to be of equal value on clinical specimens as conventional PCR regarding sensitivity and specificity, but is clearly advantageous regarding speed, handling and number of samples that can be analyzed per run.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Taq Polymerase / chemistry


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Taq Polymerase