Prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae immunoglobulin G and A antibodies in a healthy Finnish population as analyzed by quantitative enzyme immunoassays

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000 Sep;7(5):734-8. doi: 10.1128/CDLI.7.5.734-738.2000.


Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA antibody seroprevalence rates and antibody levels related to age and gender were studied. The samples (n = 742) were collected during a nonepidemic period and analyzed by quantitative enzyme immunoassays (EIAs). Seroprevalence to C. pneumoniae was found to increase sharply in young children, and in the 15- to 19-year-old group it reached levels as high as 70 and 60% for IgG and IgA, respectively. After adolescence, seroprevalence showed a transient decrease and then continued to increase, although less dramatically than in early childhood. In the elderly the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies reached 75 and 100% in women and men, respectively. The corresponding rates of IgA antibodies were 73 and 100%. When a randomly selected subgroup of samples (n = 66) was analyzed in parallel by a microimmunofluorescence test and an EIA for C. pneumoniae IgA antibodies, similar seroprevalence rates were obtained (36 versus 35%). Seroprevalence to M. pneumoniae was already found to increase very sharply in 2- to 4-year-old children, reaching 16% for IgG and 8% for IgA. Seroprevalence to M. pneumoniae also continued to increase in adolescence, but in contrast to that to C. pneumoniae, the increase leveled off at about 40 to 50% in adulthood. In subjects aged over 65 years, prevalence did not exceed 60% for IgG or 35% for IgA. The seroprevalence patterns as well as the medians and variations of levels of C. pneumoniae and M. pneumoniae IgG antibodies were similar to those of corresponding IgA antibodies. Compared to IgG antibodies, IgA antibodies do not seem to be of additional value in the diagnosis of infections caused by these pathogens when single serum specimens are studied.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlamydia Infections / blood
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / blood
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / immunology*
  • Population Surveillance* / methods
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sex Factors


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G