Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Antibodies Blood Test, IGM and IGG
Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living microorganisms known. They may exist as part of the normal flora found in the throat, upper respiratory tract, and genitourinary tract. Mycoplasmas are unlike other types of bacteria in many ways and can be difficult to culture and identify. Mycoplasma testing is used to determine whether someone currently has or recently had a mycoplasma infection.
M. pneumoniae is a common cause of upper respiratory infections, with an estimated 2 million cases in the U.S. each year.
Two types of antibodies produced in response to an M. pneumoniae infection may be measured in the blood, IgM and IgG. IgM antibodies are the first to be produced by the body in response to infection. Levels of IgM rise for a short time period and then decline, often remaining detectable in the blood for several months. IgG antibody production follows IgM production, rising over time, and then stabilizing. Once a person has had a mycoplasma infection, they will typically have some measurable amount of mycoplasma IgG antibody in their blood for the rest of their life
M. pneumoniae testing may be ordered when someone has severe respiratory symptoms that are not due to a typical bacterial infection, such as pneumococcal pneumonia. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Nonproductive cough that may persist for several weeks
- Sore throat
- Headaches and muscle aches
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