Extra-pulmonary diseases related to mycoplasma pneumoniae in children: Recent insights into the pathogenesis

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review Providing an overview on Mycoplasma pneumoniae-related extra-pulmonary diseases (MpEPDs) in children, who represent the preferred target population by those complications, and discussing the main pathogenic mechanisms implicated or potentially involved. Recent findings Recent evidences supported the fact that M. pneumoniae is more than an extra-cellular pathogen colonizing epithelial cells of the respiratory tract. It is able to penetrate the cell membrane of host cells and to invade the respiratory mucosa, leading to pronounced inflammatory responses and also spreading outside the respiratory system, to some extent. Thus, direct and indirect (immune-mediated) mechanisms have been described in M. pneumoniae infections, but the latter ones have been mainly implicated in MpEPDs, as reviewed here. Recently, interesting insights have been provided, especially as concern neurologic complications, and new potential mechanisms of disease have been emerging for autoimmunity. Summary The awareness of the occurrence of MpEPDs, showing very variable clinical expressions, could promote a correct diagnosis and an appropriate treatment. The knowledge of disease mechanisms in MpEPDs is largely incomplete, but recent advances from clinical studies and murine models might promote and direct future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018


  • children
  • M. pneumoniae
  • M. pneumoniae -related extra-pulmonary diseases
  • pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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