ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA (Mycoplasma Pneumonia)

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a very small bacterium in the class Mollicutes. It is a human pathogen that causes the disease mycoplasma pneumonia, a form of atypical bacterial pneumonia related to cold agglutinin disease.

Essentials of Diagnosis:-

• Increasing intensity of cough with scanty sputum.
• Minimal signs on chest examination, i.e. rales and
other signs of consolidation.
• X-ray shows pulmonary infiltration often extensive,
disproportionate to physical findings.
• Normal WBC count.
• Fever is constant, low grade without chill and patient
does not appear seriously ill inspite of extensive chest lesions and continued fever.









-Bed rest.
-General supportive treatment as for pneumococcal pneumonia.
-Antibiotics only in severe cases.
-Ampicillin or Erythromycin 500 mg 6 hourly for 2 weeks are preferable.
-Analgesic + antipyretics to control pain and fever.


Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for MP. Children get different antibiotics than adults to prevent potentially dangerous side effects.

Macrolides, the first choice of antibiotics for children, include:

  • erythromycin
  • clarithromycin
  • roxithromycin
  • azithromycin

Antibiotics prescribed for adults include:

  • doxycycline
  • tetracycline
  • quinolones, such as levofloxacin and moxifloxacin


Sometimes antibiotics alone are not enough and you have to be treated with corticosteroids to manage the inflammation. Examples of such corticosteroids include:

  • prednisolone
  • methylprednisolone

Immunomodulatory therapy

If you have severe MP, you may need other “immunomodulatory therapy” in addition to corticosteroids, such as intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG.

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