Community-acquired pneumonia in children due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae: diagnostic performance of a seminested 16S rDNA-PCR

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Jan;39(1):15-9. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(00)00216-9.


A 16S rDNA-PCR assay for Mycoplasma pneumoniae applied to nasopharyngeal secretion (NPS) or pharyngeal swab (PS) from children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) was prospectively compared to serological tests including complement fixation (CF) test, a mu-capture enzyme immuno assay (EIA) for the detection of specific IgM, and an EIA for the detection of specific IgG. During a 24-months-period diagnosis of active M. pneumoniae infection was established in 32 (12.6%) of 253 patients for whom paired sera were available. In the acute phase, the sensitivities of PCR from NPS and PS, CF test, IgM EIA, and IgG EIA were 90.0%, 79.3%, 46.9%, 78.1%, and 59.4%, respectively. The corresponding specificities were 98.1%, 98.6%, 97.6%, 87.1%, and 72.4%, respectively. Thus, the 16S rDNA-PCR assay provides a highly sensitive and accurate tool for the rapid diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection in children with CAP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / diagnosis
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Infant
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / immunology
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Pharynx / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests
  • Time Factors


  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S