Mycoplasma are part of the normal flora of the human oral cavity and the genital tract. However, certain species of mycoplasma, such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma hominis, can penetrate the blood and tissue barrier, especially in individuals with reduced immunity, to cause sinusitis, pneumonia, pelvic inflammatory disease, and kidney infections 3. According to the New York Times Health Guide, mycoplasma sp 1. are responsible for 15 to 50 percent of all pneumonia cases in adults and even more in school-aged children. Many mild mycoplasma infections are self-limiting, however, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat severe infections.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The diagnosis of illnesses involving mycoplasma are often difficult because special tests and cultures are required to specifically isolate this microorganism. Hence, broad-spectrum antibiotics that are effective against a variety of bacteria are prescribed. In an article published in the November 1997 edition of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Dr. David Taylor-Robinson recommends ketolides and newer quinolones to treat mycoplasma infections as they have greater activity and unlike tetracyclines and macrolides, which act by preventing the multiplication of mycoplasma, ketolides and quinolones have the ability to kill the microorganism 23.
Antibiotics are often prescribed for two to three weeks due to the inability of most antibiotics to kill mycoplasma, which may increase the chances of a relapse. The route of administration is, usually, oral. However, Dr. David Taylor-Robinson suggests in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy that individuals with immunodeficiency diseases should be given the most inhibitory antibiotic intravenously 2.
Common side effects of these antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
- The diagnosis of illnesses involving mycoplasma are often difficult because special tests and cultures are required to specifically isolate this microorganism.
- In an article published in the November 1997 edition of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Dr. David Taylor-Robinson recommends ketolides and newer quinolones to treat mycoplasma infections as they have greater activity and unlike tetracyclines and macrolides, which act by preventing the multiplication of mycoplasma, ketolides and quinolones have the ability to kill the microorganism 2.
What Are the Treatments for Inflammation of the Urethra?
The New York Times Health Guide recommends fluids along with rest, as part of home care to treat mycoplasma infections 13. Consumption of large amounts of fluids can help treat the infections by draining out the bacteria from the respiratory or the genitourinary tracts. Fluids may be given orally or intravenously depending on the condition of the patient.
According to the UK-based Morgellons Research Foundation, certain mycoplasma species can either activate or suppress host immune systems, and they may use these activities to evade host immune responses 3. Diet rich in proteins can help improve the immune system, thereby, increasing the ability of the body to fight various infections including those caused by mycoplasmas.
What Are the Treatments for Inflammation of the Urethra?
What Are the Treatments for Enterobacter Cloacae?
Antibiotics for Staph Strep Infections
What Are the Treatments for Enterococcus UTI?
Characteristics of Enterococcus Faecalis
Antibiotics Recommended for Infected Wounds
What Are the Treatments for a Proteus UTI?
Antibiotics for Bronchitis & Pneumonia
Antibiotics for Klebsiella Pneumoniae
What Are the Treatments for Haemophilus Influenzae Pneumonia?
- New York Times Health Guide: Mycoplasma pneumonia
- "Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy"; Antibiotic susceptibilities of mycoplasmas and treatment of mycoplasmal infections; D Taylor-Robinson and C Bebear; November 1997
- Morgellons-UK: The pathogenisis and treatment of mycoplasma infections
- Sethi S, Singh G, Samanta P, Sharma M. Mycoplasma genitalium: an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen. Indian J Med Res. 2012;136(6):942-55.
- Keane FE, Thomas BJ, Whitaker L, Renton A, Taylor-robinson D. An association between non-gonococcal urethritis and bacterial vaginosis and the implications for patients and their sexual partners. Genitourin Med. 1997;73(5):373-7.
- National Health Services. New guidelines issued on the 'STI most people have never heard of.' Updated July 11, 2018.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Updated June 4, 2015.
- Bradshaw CS, Jensen JS, Tabrizi SN, et al. Azithromycin failure in Mycoplasma genitalium urethritis. Emerging Infect Dis. 2006;12(7):1149-52. doi:10.3201/eid1207.051558
- Bradshaw CS, Jensen JS, Waites KB. New horizons in mycoplasma genitalium treatment. J Infect Dis. 2017;216(suppl_2):S412-S419. doi:10.1093/infdis/jix132
- Vincent LR, Jerse AE. Biological feasibility and importance of a gonorrhea vaccine for global public health. Vaccine. 2019;37(50):7419-7426. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.02.081
- Otieno FO, Ndivo R, Oswago S, et al. Evaluation of syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections within the Kisumu Incidence Cohort Study. Int J STD AIDS. 2014;25(12):851-859. doi:10.1177/0956462414523260
- Tosh AK, Van Der Pol B, Fortenberry JD, et al. Mycoplasma genitalium among adolescent women and their partners. J Adolesc Health. 2007;40(5):412-417. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.12.005
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015. Updated December 27, 2019.
- Unemo M, Nicholas RA. Emergence of multidrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant and untreatable gonorrhea. Future Microbiol. 2012 Dec;7(12):1401-22. doi:10.2217/fmb.12.117
A freelance writer and blogger since 2007, Shamala Pulugurtha's work has appeared in magazines such as the "Guide to Health and Healing" and prominent websites like Brain Blogger and NAMI California. Pulugurtha has a postgraduate degree in medical microbiology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India and has completed course work in psychology and health education.