Development of a Capture-Elisa for the Specific Detection of Mycoplasma Pneumoniae in Patients’ Material

  • B. Gerstenecker
  • E. Jacobs
Part of the Federation of European Microbilogical Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 62)


The cell wall-less prokaryote Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes tracheobronchitis and severe pneumonia, especially in children (Foy et al., 1983). Outbreaks of M. pneumoniae infections in families, school children, or in closed populations, i.e. military personnel, are common (Forsyth and Channock, 1966). Approximately 15 to 40% of all community-acquired pneumonias during epidemic periods are caused by M. pneumoniae (Foy et al., 1979). The disease is self-limiting, but serious clinical complications (encephalitis, meningitis, myocarditis) were reported (Behan et al., 1986; Chen et al., 1986). The routine diagnostic procedures of this disease are limited to serology, mostly the complement fixation test using a glycolipid extract of M. pneumoniae as antigen (Kenny and Newton, 1973). Isolation of the pathogen by culture methods is time-consuming and mostly without success. Recently, DNA- and RNA-probes for the detection of M. pneumoniae in clinical specimens have been developed (Harris et al., 1988; Göbel et al., 1987). These probes cross-hybridized with the closely related species, Mycoplasma genitalium, recently co-isolated with M. pneumoniae out of throat swabs from vaccinated volunteers (Baseman et al., 1988). Approaches of enzyme immunoassays using polyclonal capture- and polyclonal peroxidase-labelled detection antibodies (Kok et al., 1988) also resulted in cross-reactions with M. Genitalium. An immunoblot assay based on a monoclonal antibody with binding to a 43,000-molecular-weight protein of M. pneumoniae (Madson et al., 1986; Madson et al., 1988) was shown to cross-react to a protein antigen of M. genitalium of similar size (Cimolai et al., 1987).


Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Complement Fixation Test Total Cell Protein Capture ELISA Mycoplasma Genitalium 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Gerstenecker
    • 1
  • E. Jacobs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Microbiology and HygieneUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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