Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae: a role in asthma pathogenesis?

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Nov 1;172(9):1078-89. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200412-1743PP. Epub 2005 Jun 16.


The potential role of atypical bacterial infection in the pathogenesis of asthma is a subject of continuing debate. There is an increasing body of literature concerning the association between the atypical bacteria Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae and asthma pathogenesis; however, many studies investigating such a link have been uncontrolled and have provided conflicting evidence, in part due to the difficulty in accurately diagnosing infection with these atypical pathogens. This article reviews the evidence for an association between atypical bacterial respiratory pathogens and the pathogenesis of asthma, and discusses the biological mechanisms that could account for such a link. The possible role of antibacterial therapy in the management of asthma and the need for well-designed studies to investigate this is also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / microbiology*
  • Chlamydophila Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydophila Infections / drug therapy
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae* / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents