Mycoplasma pneumoniae also called “walking pneumonia”. It is an atypical pneumonia and it only affects humans. Atypical pneumonia means that it is a pneumonia cased by certain bacteria’s. The bacteria attach to the surface of respiratory epithelial cells causing cell damage through the release of hydrogen peroxide or an inflammatory response. The infection grows within the respiratory system, mainly the lungs causing irritation.. People under the age of 40 yrs. are more susceptible to the infection. Kids are more prone to contracting the infection because the bacteria attacks and thrives in groups. Mycoplasma is recognized by their small genome also known as Mollicutes, their lack of a bacterial cell wall and the fact that they are self-replicating organisms. Because this bacterium has no genetic material, Mycoplasma pneumoniae are able to survive as if it were a parasite. They don’t grow freely as living organisms because they need the fatty and amino acids that are found in hosts. Mycoplasma pneumoniae has been said to be the cause of other infections like tracheobronchitis and primary atypical pneumonia. In order to diagnose Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a doctor usually checks for abnormal sounds in the chest. An x-ray examination of the lungs is also given along with blood tests, which check for mycoplasma antibodies. Tests can also be done on phlegm for DNA traces of mycoplasma. Epidemiology:
M.pneumoniae occurs worldwide and epidemics occur very 4-8 years. It is the most common agent causing bacterial pneumonia in populations. The disease is spread by close contact and is easily spread in confined populations such as school, families, dorms, even riding public transportation. M. pneumoniae affects adolescents, young adults and especially children ages 5-9 years old. Recently M.pneumoniae has been occurring more often in people 65 years of age, and accounting for 15% of community-acquired pneumonia cases within this age group. Pathogenicity:...
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