Background: Childhood community-acquired pneumonia is a leading cause of childhood morbidity in low-income countries. The etiologic agents are usually Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. M. pneumoniae was recognized as a cofactor in asthmatic disease. High asthma prevalence was reported in Madagascar. Our aim was to clarify the prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection in this country and its relationship with asthma.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted in 351 children (from 2 to 16 years of age) from January 2012 to December 2014. According to the clinical symptoms, children were enrolled in 3 groups: "control group" (CG, n = 106), "asthma group" (n = 129) and "pneumonia group" (n = 116). The IgG and IgM M. pneumoniae status was evaluated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Clinical signs of infection, socioeconomic data and antimicrobial treatment were recorded.
Results: The overall prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection was 18.2%. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that M. pneumoniae infection was significantly more frequent in the CG [pneumonia group vs. CG: odds ratio = 0.45 (0.21-0.91), P = 0.037 and asthma group vs. CG: odds ratio = 0.39 (0.18-0.87), P = 0.021]. The C-reactive protein value was significantly higher in children with M. pneumonia-positive serology (85 vs. 61 mg/L, P = 0.03). Of note, 99 (41%) children received antibiotics before attending.
Conclusions: We report a prevalence of 18.2% for M. pneumoniae infection in children in Madagascar. The prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection was higher in the control patients than in asthmatic ones.