Abbrevation: Mycoplasma Pneumonia Ab (IgM)
Transport: at 2-8˚c
Storage: 14 days at 2-8˚c
Test Name: Mycoplasma Pneumonia Ab - IgM
Normal Range: -
To detect an active or recent mycoplasma infection. There are two different types of infections caused by Mycoplasma: one respiratory (M. pneumoniae) and one in the genital tract (M. genitalium and other species)
When your doctor suspects that your respiratory or systemic symptoms are caused by a mycoplasma infection
When a genital infection may be caused by mycoplasma or ureaplasma
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm, a throat swab, sputum sample, body fluid or tissue sample; urine and occasionally, genital or urethral swab
Mycoplasma testing is used to find out whether someone currently has or recently had a mycoplasma infection. There are three main types of tests: detection of antibodies and culture (traditional tests); detection of DNA (newer test). These tests either measure antibodies in the blood produced in response to a mycoplasma infection or detect the microorganism directly through culturing or by detecting its genetic material (DNA) in a body sample.
Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living microorganisms known. They are unlike other types of bacteria (atypical) in many ways and can be difficult to culture and identify. Mycoplasmas may be part of the normal flora found in the throat, upper respiratory tract, and genitourinary tract.
Mycoplasma testing is most often used to detect Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae), the causative agent of respiratory infections often referred to as "atypical pneumonia." M. pneumoniae is a common cause of upper respiratory infections. It is responsible for 15-20% of cases of community-acquired pneumonia, appearing as single cases and as periodic epidemics – especially in school-age children and in closed populations such as the military. Infections can occur at any time of the year, but outbreaks are more prevalent in the late summer and early autumn.
Most cases of M. pneumoniae infection are mild and self-limited, causing nonspecific symptoms such as bronchitis, a runny nose, and a non-productive cough that may persist for several weeks. Symptoms may become more severe, causing fever, sore throat, headaches, and muscle aches, when the infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract and causes "walking pneumonia," or, more rarely, spreads to other parts of the body. This is especially true in very young infants, in those who have underlying health conditions, such as asthma, or who have compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS. Depending upon what parts of the body become infected, complications may range from meningitis to difficulty breathing, cardiac inflammation and arrhythmia, skin rashes, lesions or nodules, arthritis, anaemia, or to Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Other Mycoplasma infections are caused by Mycoplasma genitaliumhominis, Mycoplasma hominis genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticum (a closely related group of microorganisms) infections are less common than those seen with M. pneumoniae. In adults, these organisms are primarily sexually transmitted, causing non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) and some inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) in men and sometimes associated with vaginal discharge and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. M. hominis and U. urealyticum can be passed from mother to baby during birth when the baby passes through an infected birth canal. They typically colonise infants for their first couple of years. Rarely, they can cause systemic infections in infants and in those with compromised immune systems.
How is the sample collected for testing?
The sample required depends on whether testing is being done to find out if the antibody is present or to detect the microorganism itself. It is also dependant upon the health status of the patient.
Antibody testing requires a blood sample, obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
Direct detection of mycoplasma may be done on a variety of samples. For a lung infection, samples may include sputum, a washing of the bronchi in the lungs, or throat swab. If a systemic infection is being diagnosed, blood, joint fluid, body fluids, or tissues samples may be cultured. Some samples may require a special procedure to collect them. To detect a genital infection, urine is a simple sample to collect or a swab of the cervix or urethra may also be collected.