Prevalence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection in Malagasy Children

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Childhood community-acquired pneumonia is a leading cause of childhood morbidity in low-income countries. The etiologic agents are usually Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. M. pneumoniae was recognized as a cofactor in asthmatic disease. High asthma prevalence was reported in Madagascar. Our aim was to clarify the prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection in this country and its relationship with asthma.


A prospective study was conducted in 351 children (from 2 to 16 years of age) from January 2012 to December 2014. According to the clinical symptoms, children were enrolled in 3 groups: “control group” (CG, n = 106), “asthma group” (n = 129) and “pneumonia group” (n = 116). The IgG and IgM M. pneumoniae status was evaluated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Clinical signs of infection, socioeconomic data and antimicrobial treatment were recorded.


The overall prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection was 18.2%. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that M. pneumoniae infection was significantly more frequent in the CG [pneumonia group vs. CG: odds ratio = 0.45 (0.21–0.91), P = 0.037 and asthma group vs. CG: odds ratio = 0.39 (0.18–0.87), P = 0.021]. The C-reactive protein value was significantly higher in children with M. pneumonia–positive serology (85 vs. 61 mg/L, P = 0.03). Of note, 99 (41%) children received antibiotics before attending.


We report a prevalence of 18.2% for M. pneumoniae infection in children in Madagascar. The prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection was higher in the control patients than in asthmatic ones.

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