2018 Volume 246 Issue 4 Pages 225-231
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a leading causative pathogen of pneumonia among pediatric patients, and its accurate diagnosis may aid in the selection of appropriate antimicrobial agents. We established a rapid reporting system of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination for M. pneumoniae that enables physicians to obtain test results approximately 90 minutes after ordering the test. In this study, we evaluated the impact of this system on antimicrobial prescriptions for pediatric pneumonia patients after its implementation from May 2016 to April 2017. In total, we identified 375 pediatric pneumonia patients, and the results of the rapid PCR examinations for Mycoplasma pneumoniae were reported immediately in 90.7% of patients (340/375), with physicians able to use these results to decide on patients’ management before the prescription of antimicrobial agents. Of the 375 pediatric pneumoniae patients, M. pneumoniae was detected in 223 (59.5%). Among the 223 M. pneumoniae-positive pneumonia cases, antimicrobial agents for atypical pathogens (macrolides, tetracyclines or quinolones) were prescribed in 97.3% (217/223) at the initial evaluation, and their prescription rates increased to 99.1% (221/223) during management. In contrast, antimicrobial agents for atypical pathogens were prescribed only in 10.5% of 152 M. pneumoniae-negative pneumonia cases at the initial evaluations, and only 1 additional case was prescribed clarithromycin for persistent symptoms during management. In conclusion, we show that molecular technology could be applicable in the field of point-of-care testing in infectious disease, and its implementation will ensure the correct antimicrobial prescription for pediatric pneumonia patients.