Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies (IgG,IgM)

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Also known as: Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies IgGIgM

Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

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The Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies (IgG,IgM) test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test is a valuable diagnostic tool used to detect and differentiate between IgG and IgM antibodies against the Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacterium. This bacterium is a common cause of respiratory infections, particularly atypical pneumonia, in humans.

Also Known As: Mycoplasma Antibodies Test, M. pneumoniae Test, Mycoplasma Test, Mycoplasma IgG IgM Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test ordered?

When someone exhibits severe respiratory symptoms that are not connected to a common bacterial infection, such as pneumococcal pneumonia, mycoplasma testing may be required. Some of these signs could be:

  • Coughing that could last for several weeks
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pains and headaches

Testing may be carried out when an infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, resulting in "walking pneumonia," and/or spreads to other parts of the body, resulting in complications like rash, arthritis, encephalitis, inflammation of the heart muscle or the lining that surrounds the heart, or hemolytic anemia, and when a person is not responding to conventional treatments. Additionally, during an outbreak, it can be mandated to monitor and manage the spread of mycoplasma pneumoniae infections.

When extremely young infants and people with impaired immune systems experience lung and/or systemic infections or consequences that could be caused by a mycoplasma infection, testing for other mycoplasma species may be done in addition to mycoplasma testing.

IgM and IgG testing are typically carried out when a medical professional has reason to believe that a patient is infected with mycoplasma pneumoniae. A follow-up IgG test may be carried out 2-4 weeks later to track an increase in antibody levels in response to an infection. When a current infection is suspected, a DNA test as well as a mycoplasma culture may be requested.

Because mycoplasmas are frequently a part of the normal flora of the vaginal tract, testing of genital samples is not frequently done. However, when a sexually active male experiences urethral inflammation that is not brought on by gonorrhea or chlamydia or when a female is suspected of having a genital mycoplasma infection after tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia have come back negative, a culture for M. hominis and U. urealyticum may occasionally be requested.

What does a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test check for?

The tiniest known free-living microbes are mycoplasmas. They might be a component of the typical flora that lives in the genitourinary tract, upper respiratory tract, and throat. Mycoplasmas can be challenging to culture and identify because they differ significantly from other forms of bacteria in many ways. To find out if someone has a mycoplasma infection now or in the past, mycoplasma testing is employed.

Mycoplasma testing consists of a variety of procedures that either evaluate the blood antibodies created in response to a mycoplasma infection or directly identify the bacterium by cultivating it or by examining a bodily sample for its genetic information. Most frequently, it is utilized to find Mycoplasma pneumoniae, the culprit behind respiratory illnesses known as "atypical pneumonia."

An estimated 2 million episodes of upper respiratory infections are thought to be caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae each year in the United States. 15–20% of instances of community-acquired pneumonia are caused by it; it can manifest as isolated cases or recurrent epidemics, particularly in school-aged children, military populations, or other environments where people live in close quarters. Despite the fact that outbreaks can happen at any time of the year, they are more common in the late summer and early fall.

The majority of mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are minor and self-limiting, with symptoms including bronchitis, a runny nose, and an ineffective cough that may last for many weeks as the only signs. When the infection extends to the lower respiratory tract and results in "walking pneumonia" or, less frequently, travels to other parts of the body, symptoms may worsen and cause fever, sore throat, headaches, and muscle aches. This is particularly true for newborns, people with underlying medical illnesses like asthma, and people with weakened immune systems like those with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders. Complications can include meningitis, respiratory problems, cardiac inflammation and arrhythmia, skin rashes, lesions or nodules, arthritis, anemia, or Guillain-Barré syndrome, depending on which regions of the body become affected.

Occasionally, testing may be performed to find more mycoplasma species. Infections caused by Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, and Ureaplasma urealyticum are less frequent than infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. These organisms are primarily sexually transmitted in adults. In men, they can cause nongonococcal urethritis and some prostate inflammation, while in women, they can occasionally be linked to vaginal discharge and pelvic inflammatory disease. When a baby is delivered through an infected birth canal, M. hominis and U. urealyticum can be transferred from the mother to the newborn. For the first few years of their lives, they usually inhabit babies. In rare cases, they can lead to systemic infections in young children and those with weakened immune systems.

Lab tests often ordered with a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test:

When a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG/IgM test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of respiratory illness or suspected pneumonia. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including white and red blood cells and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for signs of infection or inflammation. In cases of pneumonia, an elevated white blood cell count may be present.
  2. Blood Cultures:

    • Purpose: To detect the presence of bacteria in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for a systemic infection, particularly in severe cases of pneumonia.
  3. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the level of inflammation, which can be elevated in pneumonia and other infections.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG/IgM Antibodies test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of a suspected respiratory infection, aiding in the diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and other potential respiratory pathogens. They are crucial for diagnosing the cause of pneumonia, assessing its severity, and guiding appropriate treatment. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, clinical presentation, and medical history.

Conditions where a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test is recommended:

A Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test is necessary for:

  • Diagnosing Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infections: The test confirms the presence of antibodies against the bacterium, aiding in the diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections.

How does my health care provider use a Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test?

The main purpose of mycoplasma testing is to identify Mycoplasma pneumoniae as the source of a respiratory tract infection. Additionally, a systemic illness that is suspected to be brought on by mycoplasma may be diagnosed with its aid.

Blood tests can detect IgM and IgG antibodies, which are produced in response to a mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. The body produces IgM antibodies first in response to an infection. IgM levels spike briefly and then fall, frequently being detectable in the blood for several months. Following IgM production, IgG antibody production increases throughout time before stabilizing. After contracting a mycoplasma infection, a person will normally carry detectable levels of the IgG antibody for the remainder of their lives. A doctor may request both mycoplasma pneumoniae IgM and IgG antibody tests as acute samples in order to diagnose an active mycoplasma pneumoniae infection and then obtain a second mycoplasma pneumoniae IgG test two to four weeks later as a convalescent sample. This set of tests is required to examine the change in IgG levels and because some individuals, particularly babies and those with weakened immune systems, may not produce the expected levels of IgG or IgM.

What do my Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies test results mean?

An ongoing or recent M. pneumoniae infection is indicated by significant mycoplasma pneumoniae IgM concentrations and/or a four-fold rise in IgG levels between the initial sample and the convalescent sample. With a re-infection, IgG levels might also rise without IgM.

A person being tested either does not have an ongoing infection, has never had a mycoplasma infection, or their immune system has not developed antibodies in response to the pathogen if neither IgM nor IgG are detected in measurable concentrations.

Most Common Questions About the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies (IgG,IgM) test:

Purpose and Applications

What is the main objective of the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

The Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test aims to detect the presence of specific IgG and IgM antibodies in the blood that target Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterium that causes respiratory infections, commonly known as "walking pneumonia."

Who is typically recommended to take the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

Individuals presenting with symptoms of a respiratory infection, particularly those suggestive of walking pneumonia (milder form of pneumonia), are recommended to take this test. Symptoms may include persistent cough, fatigue, low-grade fever, sore throat, and chest pain.

Clinical Significance

What do the presence of IgM antibodies indicate in the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

The presence of IgM antibodies typically suggests a recent or active infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae. IgM antibodies are the first type of antibodies produced by the immune system in response to an infection.

What do the presence of IgG antibodies indicate in the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

The detection of IgG antibodies against Mycoplasma pneumoniae often indicates a past infection or exposure. The body produces IgG antibodies as a longer-lasting immune response, and these antibodies can remain in the system for years, providing potential immunity against the bacterium.


If both IgG and IgM antibodies are present, how is this interpreted in the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

If both types of antibodies are detected, it could indicate an ongoing infection where the body has started producing the longer-lasting IgG antibodies while still producing the initial IgM response. Alternatively, it may suggest a recent past infection where IgM levels haven't yet subsided.

Can the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test differentiate between a current and past infection?

Yes, by distinguishing between IgM and IgG antibodies. A positive IgM result suggests a current or recent infection, while a positive IgG result without the presence of IgM indicates a past infection or exposure.

Clinical Limitations

Can other infections or conditions cause a positive result in the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test?

Yes, cross-reactions can occur, leading to false-positive results. Other infections or conditions might produce antibodies that the test misinterprets as being specific to Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It's crucial to interpret the test results in conjunction with clinical symptoms and other diagnostic procedures.

How long after exposure can the Mycoplasma Pneumoniae IgG IgM Antibodies test detect an infection?

IgM antibodies usually become detectable within a week or two after the onset of symptoms, while IgG antibodies might take longer, often several weeks, to appear. This timeline can vary based on individual immune responses.

Additional Considerations

What is the primary treatment for a confirmed Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection?

Typically, antibiotics effective against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, such as macrolides or tetracyclines, are prescribed. However, many infections are mild and might resolve on their own without treatment. Always consult a healthcare professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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