Two Cases of Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Pneumonia in Children Hospitalized in Perugia
In Italy, there are currently two cases of “mycoplasma pneumoniae” pneumonia in children hospitalized with respiratory symptoms from the reference laboratory in Perugia, according to the RespiVirNet surveillance bulletins published by the ISS. One case is related to week 47/2023, which was a coinfection with Rhinovirus, and the other is from the current week, aligning with expectations for this period.
Antonella Mencacci, the director of microbiology at the Perugia hospital where the children were treated, stated that “mycoplasma pneumoniae” is a bacterium that commonly causes respiratory tract infections in children and young adults, with a favorable outcome due to a rapid response to antibiotic therapy.
One child has already recovered and returned home without complications, while the other is still under antibiotic therapy but is fever-free and showing a favorable course. Mycoplasma pneumoniae can cause “atypical pneumonia” in less than 10% of cases, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
The bacterium is transmitted via the respiratory route, especially during the cold months, and has an incubation period of one to three weeks. Italy’s Technical Table on Infectious Diseases and Vaccinations has stated that there has been no observed increase in respiratory infections from mycoplasma pneumoniae in older children, where macrolides are the antibiotics of choice.
In France, the Directorate General of National Health has confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae in both adults and children, leading to hospitalization. The cases prompted the DGS to issue a circular to doctors, describing the situation as an “unusual resurgence” of the respiratory infection.
Overall, experts emphasize the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment for mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia, as the indiscriminate use of antibiotics can have serious health consequences. As the winter season approaches, an increase in viral and bacterial respiratory diseases is anticipated in Italy and other countries.
Amid the ongoing concerns surrounding respiratory infections, health officials continue to monitor the situation and provide guidance for healthcare professionals and the public.