Knowing the infectious agent that has caused the infection is the key to the Pneumonia treatment. That’s why; Pneumonia is classified in many types depending on the causative agents.
One such causative agent is atypical bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae that causes Mycoplasma Pneumonia. Mycoplasma pneumoniae belongs to the class Mollicutes. It is a very small bacterium and does not occur free living (obligate parasite) in nature.
Causes of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
As we had discussed in the opening paragraphs that Mycoplasma pneumonia is caused by atypical bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It usually causes infection in school going children and adults below 40 years of age.
Individuals at high risk of getting Mycoplasma Pneumonia comprises of persons working or living in crowded areas like congested colonies, schools and homeless shelters.
Symptoms of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The symptoms of Mycoplasma Pneumonia are similar to mild symptoms of pneumonia caused by other bacteria. The onset of the infection is gradual and takes 1 to 3 weeks to appear.
Common symptoms of Mycoplasma Pneumonia:
• Low fever
• Less chances of shaking chills
• Body aches/ chest pain
• Excessive sweating
• Joint pain
• Sore throat
• Dry Cough or cough with little sputum
• Abdominal pain in some cases
• Feeling weak
Complicated Symptoms of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The complicated cases of Mycoplasma Pneumonia may present the following symptoms.
• Pain in ear or eyes
• Pain the muscles
• Rapid breathing
• Stiffness in joints
• Neck lump
• Rashes or Skin lesions
Diagnostic Tests for Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The diagnostic tests for persons with suspected pneumonia comprise of following tests.
• Complete medical evaluation
• Physical exam
• Chest x-ray
In addition to these tests, the doctors may recommend several other tests depending on the severity of the infection.
• CT scan of the chest
• Open lung biopsy
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• Blood cultures
• Blood tests for antibodies to mycoplasma
• Sputum culture
• Urine test or a throat swab (For severe cases)
Treatment of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The treatment therapy of Mycoplasma Pneumonia differs from other bacterial pneumonia as it does not respond the antibiotics used for treating infections with other bacteria.
It is because it lacks a peptidoglycan cell wall that makes it resistant against penicillins and other beta-lactam antibiotics.
The antibiotics used for treating infections caused by Mycoplasma Pneumoniae comprises of macrolides such as erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin; quinolones, and tetracyclines.
Tips for treatment
• Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.
• Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems
• Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus
• Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.
• Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.
· Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.
Complications of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
The infection with Mycoplasma Pneumonia may lead to following complicated conditions.
• Haemolytic anaemia
• Severe pneumonia
• Infections in Ear