M. pneumoniae is a human pathogen that causes the disease mycoplasma pneumonia, a form of atypical bacterial pneumonia.
M. pneumoniae is known to cause a host of symptoms such as primary atypical pneumonia, tracheobronchitis, and upper respiratory tract disease. Primary atypical pneumonia is one of the most severe types of manifestation, with tracheobronchitis being the most common symptom and another 15% of cases, usually adults, remain asymptomatic. Symptomatic infections tend to develop over a period of several days and manifestation of pneumonia can be confused with a number of other bacterial pathogens and conditions that cause pneumonia. Tracheobronchitis is most common in children due to a reduced immune system capacity, and up to 18% of infected children require hospitalization. Common mild symptoms include sore throat, wheezing and coughing, fever, headache, rhinitis, myalgia and feelings of unease. Rarely, M. pneumoniae pneumonia results in death due to lesions and ulceration of the epithelial lining, pulmonary edema, and bronchiolitis obliterans. Extrapulmonary symptoms such as autoimmune responses, central nervous system complications, and dermatological disorders have been associated with M. pneumoniae infections in up to 25% of cases.