Understanding Mycoplasma Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Mycoplasma Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 06 Dec,2023

Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria that causes mycoplasma infections. Because mycoplasmas do not have a cell wall, they are immune to many conventional antibiotics that target the manufacture of cell walls, such as penicillin. This makes mycoplasmas unique among bacteria. Mycoplasmas can cause a variety of ailments and infect different regions of the body. Surely, we need to look at the main things about Mycoplasma infections such as their causes, symptoms, and treatment.


Mycoplasma Bacteria:

  1.  There are certain bacteria of Mycoplasma genus that cause mycoplasma diseases.
  2.  Unlike other bacteria, mycoplasmas have no cell walls which make them resistant to some antibiotics.

Common Species:

  1. Mycoplasma pneumoniae: This genus causes respiratory infections including pneumonia and bronchitis.
  2. Mycoplasma genitalium: They are responsible for genitourinary infections including sexually transmitted diseases.


  1. Most of the respiratory mycoplasmas are spread through respiratory droplets in crowded or close-contact settings.
  2. Sexual contact is a common mode of transmission for genital mycoplasmas.


Respiratory Infections:

Mycoplasma pneumoniae:

  1. Symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, and chest pain.
  2. Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma can have a gradual onset and may be mild to moderate.

Genitourinary Infections:

Mycoplasma genitalium:

  1. In men, this may involve urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) with discharge and discomfort.
  2. Urethritis, cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be caused by it in women.

Other Symptoms:

  1. Both respiratory and genital mycoplasma infections are associated with fatigue, headache as well as muscle pain.
  2. Some infections can be asymptomatic especially in the early stages of infection.


Laboratory Tests:

  1.  Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and serological tests for detection of mycoplasmal infections exist.
  2.   Culturing mycoplasmas may be difficult and special media may be required.



Respiratory Infections:
  1. Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin) or tetracyclines (e.g., doxycycline) may be used.
Genitourinary Infections:
  1. Sometimes, it can be treated using antibiotics like azithromycin or doxycycline alongside other medications.

Antibiotic Resistance:

  1. Some mycoplasma strains may have resistance to some antibiotics, hence the need for proper antibiotic choice.

Supportive Care:

  1. Adequate rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage symptoms and support the body’s recovery.


Hygiene Practices:

  1. Good respiratory hygiene including covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing helps to prevent transmission of respiratory mycoplasmas.
  2. Safe sex practices can as well prevent genital mycoplasma infections.

Avoiding Close Contact:

  1.  Reducing close contact with people who are experiencing respiratory symptoms can minimize the risk of transmission.


  1. Complications: This is due to the fact that Mycoplasma infections could result in complications such as pneumonia especially among vulnerable groups such as older adults or those who have weak immune systems.
  2. Consultation with healthcare professionals: As a result, diagnosis and treatment should be done under the guidance of health care professionals but not self-diagnose/treat.

To sum it up, Mycoplasma infections take different forms in the respiratory and genito-urinary systems respectively; thus timely diagnosis with adequate antibiotic therapy alongside supportive management is essential for effective treatment of these diseases. A risk reduction strategy also contributes significantly to a bid to lower chances of getting infected.

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