Detecting Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in nasopharyngeal specimens from Paediatric patients with asthma exacerbations in Baghdad: A Polymerase Chain Reaction – Gene based study
Background: Numerous viral infections have triggered acute asthma exacerbations. Despite the fact that diagnosis of M. pneumoniae infection is based on sero-prevalence studies but molecular diagnostic techniques, such as PCR, have offered improvements in sensitivity, specificity and rapidity over the latest methods.
Objectives: The aim of this molecular study is to determine the infection rates of M. pneumoniae in acute asthma exacerbation in a group of Iraqi children from Baghdad and also to examine the correlation of the disease with different variable characteristics and symptoms.
Methods: This study included 94 children between 2 and 13 years old; Fifty in-patient asthmatic children and 44 non-asthmatic children as control group who were out-patients of the same hospital. Throat and nasal swab samples were taken for DNA extraction and PCR procedures.
Results: PCR results show that 33.3% asthmatic patients were positive for M. pneumoniae while 66.7% were negative (p < 0.001). 53.8% of M. pneumonia-positive asthmatic children were 2–5 years while 46.2% were 6–14 years old. Among asthmatic patients with positive PCR, 30.8% had positive history of seasonal pattern (p = 0.026) and 69.2% have positive family history of atopy (p = 0.05).
Conclusions: Family history of atopy has strong association with asthma (p = 0.005), while factors such as sex, residence, seasonal allergen, animal allergen, passive smoking, mode of delivery or consanguinity has not been associated with asthma. M. pneumonia in a respective bulk among pediatric patients with asthma constituted an important risk factor for asthma exacerbation presented as cough and wheezy chest without fever or chest X-ray findings.
Keywords: Asthma, Mycoplasma pneumonia, DNA, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Exacerbation