The presence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae has been associated with worsening asthma in children. This study from Texas, U.S. enrolled 143 children (53 with acute asthma, 26 with refractory asthma, and 64 healthy controls; aged 5-17 years) during a 20-month period.
M pneumoniae was detected in 64% of patients with acute asthma, 65% with refractory asthma, and 56% of healthy controls. Children with asthma had lower antibody levels to M pneumoniae compared with healthy controls. Asthma control and quality of life scores were lower in M pneumoniae–positive patients with asthma.
Fc receptor interaction with an antibody-coated microbial pathogen. Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.
M pneumoniae detection was associated with worsening asthma, and children with asthma may have poor humoral immune responses to M pneumoniae.
Editor’s note: The natural follow-up question from this study is to ask if treatment of M pneumoniae would improve outcomes in this patient population. Previous studies of macrolides in patients with uncontrolled asthma have been inconclusive.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae in children with acute and refractory asthma. Pamela R. Wood et al. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Volume 110, Issue 5 , Pages 328-334.e1, May 2013.