Mollicutes: Mycoplasma pneumoniae

  • T. Prescott AtkinsonEmail author


Proven or suspected autoimmune phenomena are frequently associated with infections by the atypical bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Perhaps the most well-known, and previously a common clinical tool in diagnosis, is the occurrence of cold agglutinins, particularly in cases of atypical pneumonia. However, in addition to atypical pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection has been associated with the development of a severe variant of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, arthritis, various forms of vasculitis, and neurologic disorders including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM). While the molecular mechanisms leading to all of these processes are poorly understood, it is likely that at least some of them will be elucidated in the near future given the rapid progress in genomics and microbiology that is currently taking place. In this chapter, we will review some of the better documented associations of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection with autoimmunity.


Arthritis Autoimmunity Guillain-Barré syndrome Infection Mycoplasma pneumoniae Stevens-Johnson syndrome Hemolytic anemia 



Acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis


Cold agglutinins


Guillain-Barré syndrome


Juvenile idiopathic arthritis


Mycoplasma pneumoniae


Stevens-Johnson syndrome


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Allergy, Asthma & ImmunologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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