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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

SURVEY OF THE INCIDENCE OF MYCOPLASMA PNEUMONIAE IN RESIDENT AND COMMUTING STUDENTS AND AN ANTIBIOTIC DISK DIFFUSION TEST USING MACROLIDES, QUINOLONES AND BETA-LACTAMS

Abstract

Mycoplasma pneumoniae Somerson et al., 1963 is an especially unique bacterium; it is the only Mycoplasma that only infects humans and is difficult to eradicate because of its tip organelle and biofilm production, both of which improve its ability to evade the ciliary action of the human immune system. It causes infections ranging from mild (fever and myalgia) to severe (pneumonia and encephalitis). It is studied heavily because it is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), a severe respiratory infection that is highly contagious, especially among university students. In a two-part study, the incidence of the bacterium between two different groups was determined along with the susceptibility of M. pneumoniae to three antibiotic classes. The first study used samples from 40 students, half of them living on campus and the other half commuting between class and an off-campus residency. A nasopharyngeal and palate sample were collected from each student using sterile dual Amies collection swabs. The swab tips were transferred to brain heart infusion (BHI) broth for 24 hours and then transferred to agar for one week. Of the 40 students, commuters showed a higher incidence with 15 testing positive, compared to 11 residents testing positive, for a total incidence of 65%. In the antibiotic study, the disc diffusion method was used. Mycoplasma pneumoniae was rehydrated in BHI broth and incubated at 37℃ for one week. The samples were streaked onto SP4 agar plates using sterile swabs and the antibiotic discs were added. The plates were incubated for one week at 37℃ and the zones of inhibition were measured at 96, 120, and 144 hours. Results showed M. pneumoniae to be susceptible to erythromycin (a macrolide) and ciprofloxacin (a quinolone) but resistant to ampicillin (a beta-lactam).

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