This review discusses the current knowledge on laboratory tests and treatme
nt of respiratory tract infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) in
children. MP infection is endemic in most areas of the world. The highest i
ncidence is seen in children aged between 3 and 14 years. Most infections a
re mild and non-pneumonic. Parapneumonic complications of MP pneumonia are
rare. Complications are described affecting the skin, central nervous syste
m, kidneys, heart, muscles and the eyes. To diagnose an acute MP infection
in children, a combination of PCR and IgM serology is sensitive and conveni
ent. In both tests it is possible to obtain a result in I to 2 days. As a c
onsequence, adequate antibiotic treatment can be prescribed to the child. M
acrolides are the first choice in treatment of MP infection in children.
Conclusion The most sensitive and rapid test to diagnose a Mycoplasma pneum
oniae infection in children is a combination of nasopharyngeal polymerase c
hain reaction and IgM enzyme immunoassay. The treatment of choice in childr
en is a macrolide.