PCR Detection of Microbial Pathogens

Volume 943 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 149-158


Detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae by Real-Time PCR

  • Jonas M. WinchellAffiliated withRespiratory Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Stephanie L. MitchellAffiliated withRespiratory Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a significant cause of respiratory disease, accounting for approximately 20% of cases of community-acquired pneumonia. Although several diagnostic methods exist to detect M. pneumoniae in respiratory specimens, real-time PCR has emerged as a significant improvement for the rapid diagnosis of this pathogen. The method described herein details the procedure for the detection of M. pneumoniae by real-time PCR (qPCR). The qPCR assay described can be performed with three targets specific for M. pneumoniae (Mp181, Mp3, and Mp7) and one marker for the detection of the RNaseP gene found in human nucleic acid as an internal control reaction. Recent studies have demonstrated the ability of this procedure to reliably identify this agent and facilitate the timely recognition of an outbreak.

Key words

Mycoplasma pneumoniae Community-acquired pneumonia Real-time PCR qPCR