Therapy with antibiotics is usually not necessary for treat-ment of upper respiratory tract infection caused by M. pneumoniae. However, treatment with antibiotics may be helpfulfor management of Mycoplasma pneumonia, because it reduces duration of illness and also reduces the number of Mycoplasma in clinical specimen. It also reduces the symptoms, enhances resolution of pneumonia, and facilitates recovery from the disease. Pneumonia is usually a self-limiting disease and is not life-threatening in most patients.
M. pneumoniae remains susceptible to tetracyclines and eryth-romycin, because these antibiotics act on the mycoplasmas by inhibiting synthesis of protein. Tetracycline has the additional advantage of also being active against most other mycoplas-mas and chlamydiae, the common causes of nongonococcal urethritis.
Mycoplasma organisms are resistant to penicillins and cepha-losporins, because these antibiotics act on the cell wall, which is lacking in mycoplasmas.
Prevention and Control
Isolation of the patients infected with M. pneumoniae is the best way to prevent the spread of the disease. Antibiotic prophylaxis with tetracyclines or erythromycin is also useful. No vaccine is available against Mycoplasma infections.