Mycoplasma pneumoniae detections before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: results of a global survey, 2017 to 2021

Patrick M. Meyer Sauteur*, Michael L. Beeton, ESGMAC-MyCOVID Study Team, Søren A. Uldum, Nathalie Bossuyt, Melissa Vermeulen, Katherine Loens, Sabine Pereyre, Cécile Bébéar, Darja Keše, Jessica Day, Baharak Afshar, Victoria J. Chalker, Gilbert Greub, Ran Nir-Paz, Roger Dumke

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae respiratory infections are transmitted by aerosol and droplets in close contact. Aim: We investigated global M. pneumoniae incidence after implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against COVID-19 in March 2020. Methods: We surveyed M. pneumoniae detections from laboratories and surveillance systems (national or regional) across the world from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and compared them with cases from corresponding months between 2017 and 2020. Macrolide-resistant M. pneumoniae (MRMp) data were collected from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021. Results: Thirty-seven sites from 21 countries in Europe, Asia, America and Oceania submitted valid datasets (631,104 tests). Among the 30,617 M. pneumoniae detections, 62.39% were based on direct test methods(predominantlyPCR),34.24%onacombination of PCR and serology (no distinction between methods) and 3.37% on serology alone (only IgM considered). In all countries, M. pneumoniae incidence by direct test methods declined significantly after implementation of NPIs with a mean of 1.69%(SD ±3.30) compared with 8.61%(SD ±10.62) in previous years (p<0.01). Detection rates decreased with direct but not with indirect test methods (serology) (-93.51% vs+18.08%; p<0.01). Direct detections remained low worldwide throughout April 2020 to March 2021 despite widely differing lockdown or school closure periods. Seven sites (Europe, Asia and America) reported MRMp detections in one of 22 investigated cases in April 2020 to March 2021 and 176 of 762 (23.10%) in previous years (p = 0.04). Conclusions: This comprehensive collection of M. pneumoniae detections worldwide shows correlation between COVID-19 NPIs and significantly reduced detection numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100746
JournalEurosurveillance
Volume27
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022

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© 2022 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

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