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Dan Med J. 2013 May;60(5):A4632.

Clinical characteristics of children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection hospitalized during the Danish 2010-2012 epidemic.

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Børneafdelingen, Hvidovre Hospital, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark.



Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia may be the most severe manifestation of respiratory M. pneumoniae infection. The most typical symptoms in children are cough and wheezing, which are often accompanied by upper respiratory tract manifestations mimicking viralrespiratory syndromes.


This was a retrospective descriptive study. We included all children hospitalized at the Department of Paediatrics, Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark, from 1 August 2010 through May 2012 who tested positive for M. pneumoniae by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Clinical data were obtained from the medical charts.


A total of 671 PCR analyses for M. pneumoniae were performed of which 102 tested positive (15%). Our study included 101 M. pneumoniae-positive children with a median age of six years (range: 57 days-16 years). The cases were distributed throughout the year, but with a peak from October to January. 43% were five years or younger, with 18% being 0-1 years old and almost 7% being less than one year old. Only 17% were 11-16 years old. 58% of the patients reported more than seven days of fever and/or cough prior to admission. In all, 65 of 101 M. pneumoniae-positive children were discharged within 24 hours of admission.


M. pneumoniae should be kept in mind as a cause not only of community-acquired pneumonia, but also of milder respiratory infections in children younger than five years. PCR from a nasal or throat swap is an easy, reliable and quick diagnostic test in infants and children.


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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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