Mycoplasma Infections (Mycoplasma pneumoniae) Clinical Presentation

Updated: Jul 24, 2017
  • Author: Ken B Waites, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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History

Typical symptoms can develop and persist over weeks to months and include flulike manifestations.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Generalized aches and pains
  • Fever (usually ≤ 102°F)
  • Cough - Usually nonproductive
  • Sore throat (nonexudative pharyngitis)
  • Headache/myalgias
  • Chills but not rigors
  • Nasal congestion with coryza
  • Earache
  • General malaise

In very young children, upper respiratory tract manifestations may predominate, whereas in older children and adults, lower respiratory tract symptoms are more likely.

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Physical

Physical findings can be quite variable. Patients typically do not appear toxic or severely ill, but some abnormalities may be apparent in a significant proportion of cases.

Physical findings include the following:

  • Oropharyngeal inflammation
  • Cervical adenopathy - Usually absent
  • Erythematous tympanic membranes
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Maculopapular or urticarial rash

Chest auscultation in patients with pneumonia may demonstrate localized rhonchi and scattered moist rales, generally involving multiple lobes of the lung and sometimes accompanied by wheezes, with no signs of consolidation, egophony, or bronchial breathing.

In many persons, chest auscultative and percussive abnormalities are minimal to absent.

Extrapulmonary manifestations may occur in a minority of persons (see Complications). [6]

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Causes

This is a bacterial infection caused by M pneumoniae.

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