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Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2012 Mar;50(3):211-5.

[Mixed infections in children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia].

[Article in Chinese]

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Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310003, China.



To investigate the incidence and clinical features of mixed infections in children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) pneumonia.


A total of 201 cases diagnosed as MP pneumonia were investigated for mixed infections by sputum bacterial culture, respiratory virus antigen detection and serum Chlamydia pneumoniae antibody test. For those with the indications for bronchoscopy, we also did bronchoalveolar lavage and lavage bacterial culture.


A high incidence (103/201, 51.2%) of mixed infections in children with MP pneumonia was revealed. The most frequent co-infected pathogen was Chlamydia pneumoniae (52, 25.9%), followed by viruses (29, 14.4%), and bacteria (22, 10.9%). Among viruses, respiratory syncytial virus was the most common (17, 8.5%), followed by adenovirus (6, 3.0%), parainfluenza virus type III (4, 2.0%) and influenza virus type B (2, 1.0%). Sputum bacterial culture was positive in 14/201 (7.0%) cases, Streptococcus pneumonia being most common (6, 3.0%). BALF culture yielded positive results in 11.6% (8/69), Streptococcus pneumonia was also common (5, 7.3%). Among 29 cases with MP and virus coinfection, 26 were younger than 3 years (89.7%), while for MP and Chlamydia pneumoniae coinfection, most of them were older than 3 years (40/52, 76.9%). Compared with non-mixed infections, those with mixed infections had longer fever duration (24.5% and 40.8% longer than 10 d), more frequently developed pleural effusion (11.2%, 23.3%) and large area of shadow in chest imaging (35.7%, 51.5%). White blood cell [(14.28 ± 4.99) × 10(9)/L], C-reactive protein (CRP) [69(32.5 - 99.5) mg/L] and neutrophil ratio in BALF [0.86 (0.63 - 0.91)] were much higher in children with mixed bacterial infections than that in non-mixed infections [(9.06 ± 3.47) × 10(9)/L, 3 (0 - 31.0) mg/L, 0.44 (0.03 - 0.88)]. But no significant difference was found in peripheral blood neutrophil proportion between mixed bacterial infections (0.38 ± 0.25) and non-mixed infections (0.51 ± 0.19).


More than half of cases with MP pneumonia had mixed infections, most commonly caused by Chlamydia pneumonia followed by viruses. The incidence of mixed infections with bacteria was low. Mixed infections with virus were more common in young children, while mixed infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae was more common in older ones. Bacterial infections should be paid more attention, especially those caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, for those with high peripheral white blood cell counts, high CRP levels and high proportion of neutrophils in BALF.

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