Clinical reference laboratories are able to provide diagnostic testing for Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) infections with culture, serology, or molecular methods (refer to the chart below). Currently, there are two commercially available molecular kits (FDA approved) for the detection of M. pneumoniae infection. When additional or specialized testing is necessary local or state public health laboratories may be able to either provide diagnostic support or forward specimens to the CDC.
Better M. pneumoniae diagnostic tests are needed, including the development of a rapid, reliable and cost-effective means to detect the pathogen at the point of care. Expertise and capacity to perform diagnostics is also more widely needed at state and local public health laboratories.
Advantages, Disadvantages and the Availability of Select M. pneumoniae Diagnostic Methods
2 Various quality control measures in place for this assay including compliance with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments standards and the use of proficiency testing through Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics.
3 Other testing performed by the CDC only for special investigations include: using specialized SP4 media used for isolation and isolate typing, serology as a supportive measure, and molecular typing procedures such as macrolide susceptibility testing, P1 adhesion typing, and MLVA typing.
SP4—modified Spiroplasma medium, EIA - enzyme immunoassay, qPCR—quantitative polymerase chain reaction, MLVA—multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis, NP—nasopharyngeal, OP—oropharyngeal, CSF—cerebrospinal fluid
- Atkinson TP, Balish MF, Waites KB. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, pathogenesis and laboratory detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2008;32:956–73.
- Thurman KA, et al. Comparison of laboratory diagnostic procedures for detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in community outbreaks. Clin Infect Dis. 2009;48:1244–9.
- Waites KB. What’s new in diagnostic testing and treatment approaches for Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in children? Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;719:47–57.
- Winchell JM. Mycoplasma pneumoniae – A national public health perspective. Curr Pediatr Rev. 2013; doi:10.2174/15733963113099990009.
- Page last reviewed: February 7, 2014
- Page last updated: February 7, 2014
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