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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Pneumologica 2017 June;56(2):59-68

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4954.17.01782-5


language: English

Detection of atypical respiratory pathogens in patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infections in Apulia, Southern Italy

Raffaele DEL PRETE 1, 2, Luigi RONGA 2, Mirella LESTINGI 1, Grazia ADDATI 1, Umberto F. ANGELOTTI 1, Giuseppe MIRAGLIOTTA 1, 2

1 Section of Microbiology, Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine (DIM), A. Moro University, Bari, Italy; 2 Operative Unit of Microbiology and Virology, Bari Polyclinic, Bari, Italy


BACKGROUND: Atypical pneumonia represents one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in children and adults. Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae (formerly Chlamydia pneumoniae) and Legionella pneumophila represent important etiological agents of atypical pneumonia.
METHODS: M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, L. pneumophila, Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis from patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infection were detected by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (mRT-PCR) assay.
RESULTS: From September 2013 to December 2014, 643 samples from 599 patients (tracheal aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavages, sputum, pharyngeal swabs and nasal swabs) were collected. Overall, 78/643 specimens (12.1%) resulted positive and 565/643 (87.9%) negative for the targets named above. Of 78 positive samples, 52 (8.1%) were positive for M. pneumoniae, 9 (1.4%) for C. pneumoniae, 5 (0.8%) for L. pneumophila, 11 (1.7%) for B. pertussis and 2 (0.3%) for B. parapertussis. In one sample, a co-infection by M. pneumoniae and B. parapertussis was also detected.
CONCLUSIONS: Use of broad molecular testing approach revealed a major prevalence of M. pneumoniae infection and low prevalence rates of other pathogens. In particular, M. pneumoniae prevalence was higher in children compared to adults while L. pneumophila prevalence was higher among adults.

KEY WORDS: Epidemiology - Atypical bacterial forms - Real-time polymerase chain reaction

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Publication History

Issue published online: May 8, 2017
Manuscript accepted: February 11, 2017
Manuscript received: January 24, 2017

Cite this article as

Del Prete R, Ronga L, Lestingi M, Addati G, Angelotti UF, Miragliotta G. Detection of atypical respiratory pathogens in patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infections in Apulia, Southern Italy. Minerva Pneumol 2017;56:59-68. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4954.17.01782-5

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