Mycoplasma and rheumatic disease Please rate this page (bottom of page)

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Mycoplasma infection in lower right lung. Tanaka H, Openi CC BY 4.0


Mycoplasma is an infection with the bacterium "Mycoplasma pneumonia ”, most often in children and young adults. This is not a classic ”Opportunistic infection"But by a weakened immune system as during immunosuppressive, anti-rheumatic treatment, by organ transplantation or by HIV infection, mycoplasma infection can become severe. The infection causes throat and lung inflammation, but can rarely spread to multiple internal organs in vulnerable individuals.

It has been discussed whether mycoplasma contributes to the development of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) without this being proven (reference: Chu KA, 2019).

  • The symptoms may resemble rheumatic fever in children (reference: Relevant M, 1981), otherwise not rheumatic to expect.


Most common among pupils, military and students in the autumn and winter months.



The symptoms alone are not typical enough to warrant diagnosis

  • Multiplex PCR examination is best early in the disease
  • Serology tests (antibody, IgM) are not specific, can only be used late in the course and used little
  • Cold agglutinin may be in blood test, but may also occur in other conditions
  • CT examination of lungs often shows small, non-specific changes
    • Thickened bronchial wall early in the course of the disease
    • Small knots
    • Matt Glass
    • Seals


  • Macrolides (azithromycin, clarithromycin eller erythromycin)
    • Oral azithromycin over 5 days (500 mg first dose, then 250 mg daily for 4 days).
  • Doxycycline or fluoroquinolones are alternatives
    • Doxycycline or fluoroquinolone is given over 7-14 days

Differential diagnoses: (Other atypical pneumonia causes):


Opportunistic infections,

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