Mycoplasma Pneumonia Essay

816 words - 3 pages

Mycoplasma Pneumonia is the most common pneumonia ranging in older kids and younger adults. This type of lung infection goes by many different names such as Walking Pneumonia, Eaton Agent Pneumonia and Primary Atypical Pneumonia. Mycoplasma Pneumoniae is one of the smallest living organisms that can reproduce outside of a cell but, prefers to have a host and to be parasitic. Mycoplasma pneumoniae likes to party in the late summer and early fall especially in communities but is still found in the other seasons.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is unique and mysterious because of its small genome and physical size. The bacterium contains only 500-2300 Kba in its genome that produces about 700 different proteins. (Emerging infectious diseases pg. 22) Its reduced genome has been clearly mapped. When M. pneumoniae was first culture many scientist thought this bacteria was a virus because of how small it was. M. pneumoniae size range from 0.2 to 0.8 micrometer and are capable of passing through most filters designed to remove bacteria. (Emerging infectious diseases pg.22) The bacterium is the smallest living organism capable of replicating itself. The bacterium lacks a cell wall but has a three layered cell membrane with sterols. It can take on any shape from cocci to filamentous. An agar plates the colonies have a specific fried egg look. It lives mainly as a parasite in humans where it can maintain its osmotic balance with its environment. M. pneumoniae has never been found growing freely because of their dependence of their host. They grow aerobically and use glucose as its main food source but need the host for amino acids, lipids, nucleotides and sterols. There different membrane that contains sterols is not found in bacterial or virus which is a fungal characteristic. Scientist have only isolate 17 species which four of them are found human.

M. pneumoniae is generally referred to as primary atypical or walking pneumonia because the symptoms are not as sever as pneumonia. The symptoms include a dry hacking cough, fever, and headache. The symptoms will last for about 2 to 3 weeks. M. pneumoniae affects people worldwide. Typically only 33 % of people who have M. pneumoniae will get atypical pneumonia. The majority, 77 %, will come down with an upper tract infection (tracheaobronchitis). (Pulmonary Disorders pg 609) M. pneumoniae is transmitted through aerosol droplets. The bacterium is capable of infecting anyone at any time but it...

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