Molecular detection of bacterial agents of atypical pneumonia among patients from six hospitals in Suez Canal region

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Port-Said University, Port-Said, Egypt

2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.

3 Internal Medicine Department ,Chest Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt


Background: Reliable diagnosis of atypical pneumonia microbial agents is crucial since they do not respond to beta-lactams but to other groups of antibiotics. Therefore, empiric treatment with beta lactam groups will be ineffective for their eradication if no additional antibiotics as macrolides are administered to the management plan. This study aimed to determine prevalence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae), Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) and Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) among patients with atypical pneumonia, and drawing physicians' attention to the role of these pathogens as etiologic agents of atypical pneumonia in the Suez Canal region. Methods: Eighty-four atypical pneumonia cases were enrolled in this study. Respiratory samples were collected. Part of each specimen was inoculated onto blood, MacConkey, and chocolate agar plates, another part of specimens was processed for DNA extraction and multiplex PCR assay for detection of M. pneumoniae p1adhesion gene, C. pneumoniae outer membrane protein (ompA) gene, and L. pneumophila macrophage infectivity potentiator (mip) gene. Results: Out of the 84 atypical pneumonia cases, atypical bacteria were detected by multiplex conventional PCR in 12 (14%) cases and they all were L. pneumophila, 3 cases (4%) were mixed with Staphylococcus aureus, and 2 (2%) cases were mixed with Streptococcus pyogens. Mycoplasma pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae were not detected by PCR in our samples. Conclusions: Legionella  pneumophila incidence is not low in our geographical region in patients with atypical pneumonia; so it is of pivotal importance to recruit sensitive and reliable molecular based techniques to detect and control this infection in healthcare environments.


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