Epidemiological, Clinical, and immunological characteristics of Mycoplasma pneumonia infections among a group of hospitalized children in Suleimani city/Iraq

  • Pakhshan M. Faraj community health department, Suleimani Polytechnic University.
  • Ali H. bayati community health department, Suleimani Polytechnic University
  • Khalid H. Salih Department of pediatrics, faculty of medical sciences, Suleimani University, Kurdistan region, Iraq.
Keywords: Mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory infection, ELISA technique


Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) is an important respiratory bacterial pathogen, especially among children. It causes acute upper and lower respiratory infections.

Objective: This study was aimed to measure anti- M. pneumoniae antibodies among hospitalized children who were admitted to hospital diagnosed with acute respiratory tract infections.

Method: Automated ELISA technique was performed to detect anti- M. pneumoniae antibodies (IgM and IgG antibodies) in serum from 108 children less than 5 years old. The children were admitted to the Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Suleimani city/Kurdistan Region/Iraq because of acute respiratory tract infections. A questionnaire was designed to collect demographic and clinical data from those children.

Results: IgM anti- M. pneumoniae antibodies were positive in 15 (13.9%) out of 108 children. The highest seroprevalence was found in the age group 25-36 months while the lowest is in the age group 1-12 months. M. pneumoniae infections were more common among males than females though results were statistically not significant, and attendance of kindergarten or nursery, residency, history of chronic diseases, history of contact with similar conditions, and family history of chronic diseases, they were all statistically not significant. The IgM

seropositive children were suffering from bronchitis, croup, pneumonia, or other respiratory infections, in frequencies of 7 (46.6%), 4 (26.7%), 3 (20%), and 1 (6.7%) respectively. Increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, diagnosis of croup, and diagnosis of bronchitis were more frequent in M. pneumoniae infected group and the results were statistically significant. The IgG anti- M. pneumoniae antibodies were positive in 31 (28.8%) out of the 108 children, and the greatest IgG seroprevalence was highest in age group 49-60 months.

Conclusion: M. pneumoniae is an important respiratory pathogen among hospitalized children in Sulaimani governorate/Kurdistan/Iraq, and nearly one third of children had experienced M. pneumoniae infection by the age of five years