Lung function and bronchial responsiveness after Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in early childhood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mycoplasma (M.) pneumoniae has been associated with exacerbation of symptoms in asthmatic school children and adults; and an etiological role in asthma has been suggested. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether infection with M. pneumoniae in early childhood has a long-term influence on lung function and bronchial responsiveness. In a retrospective, clinical cohort-study children younger than 5 years-of-age when PCR-tested for M. pneumoniae were enrolled. Sixty-five children with clinical symptoms suggesting infection with M. pneumoniae during an epidemic season completed a clinical follow-up examination including lung function testing (28 PCR-positive and 37 PCR-negative). In addition to the PCR-test for M. pneumoniae all respiratory tract specimens were additionally tested for other atypical bacteria and for viruses by PCR. Lung function was measured as specific airway resistance by whole-body plethysmography and bronchial hyperresponsiveness was assessed by cold, dry air hyperventilation. Neither baseline lung function nor bronchial response to cold dry air hyperventilation differed between M. pneumoniae-positive and -negative children: mean baseline lung function were 1.17 versus 1.21 (kPa sec), P = 0.45; and mean change in specific resistance was 13% versus 9%, P = 0.42. In conclusion, M. pneumoniae infection in early childhood was not associated with long-term effects on lung function and bronchial hyperresponsiveness 2 years after infection.


  • Birgitte B Kjaer
  • Jørgen S Jensen
  • Kim G Nielsen
  • Anders Fomsgaard
  • Blenda Böttiger
  • Birthe Dohn
  • Hans Bisgaard
External organisations
  • Danish Serum Institute, Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords


  • Airway Resistance, Bronchial Hyperreactivity/diagnosis, Bronchial Provocation Tests, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Mycoplasma Infections/complications, Mycoplasma pneumoniae/isolation & purification, Plethysmography, Whole Body, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Retrospective Studies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-75
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes