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In children with respiratory symptoms are Mycoplasma pneumoniae PCR and serology clinically significant?

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Prospective cross-sectional observational study.


A tertiary children’s hospital and an after-hours general practitioner cooperative in The Netherlands.


A total of 726 children aged 3 months to 16 years, in two groups. The first ‘asymptomatic’ group had 405 participants and consisted of children without respiratory symptoms coming for elective surgery. The second group recruited 321 children who presented with a respiratory tract infection to either the emergency department or the after-hours general practitioners cooperative. Children with recent antibiotic treatment or significant comorbidity were excluded from the study.

Participants from both groups had pharyngeal and nasopharyngeal aspirates tested for M pneumoniae by PCR, and serum analysed for anti-M pneumoniae …

Correspondence to Dr Andrew Riordan, Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK; andrew.riordan{at}

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.