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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 18;8(12):e82174. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082174. eCollection 2013.

Specific multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis genotypes of Mycoplasma pneumoniae are associated with diseases severity and macrolide susceptibility.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Beijing Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Beijing Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Beijing Key Laboratory of Respiratory and Pulmonary Circulation Disorders, Beijing Hospital, China Ministry of Health, Beijing.


Clinical relevance of multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) by Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) is unknown. A multi-center, prospective study was conducted from November 2010 to April 2012. Nine hundred and fifty-four CAP patients were consecutively enrolled. M. pneumoniae clinical isolates were obtained from throat swabs. MLVA typing was applied to all isolates. Comparison of pneumonia severity index (PSI) and clinical features among patients infected with different MLVA types of M. pneumoniae were conducted. One hundred and thirty-six patients were positive with M. pneumoniae culture. The clinical isolates were clustered into 18 MLVA types. One hundred and fourteen (88.3%) isolates were resistant to macrolide, covering major MLVA types. The macrolide non-resistant rate of M. pneumoniae isolates with Mpn13-14-15-16 profile of 3-5-6-2 was significantly higher than that of other types (p ≤ 0.001). Patients infected with types U (5-4-5-7-2) and J (3-4-5-7-2) had significantly higher PSI scores (p<0.001) and longer total duration of cough (p = 0.011). Therefore it seems that there is a correlation between certain MLVA types and clinical severity of disease and the presence of macrolide resistance.

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