2013 Volume 66 Issue 6 Pages 539-542
Rapid diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia is required for timely treatment with effective antibiotics; however, PCR-based methods are often too expensive and technologically intensive for general use in clinical practice. In this study, the efficacy of the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for diagnosis of M. pneumoniae pneumonia in clinical practice was prospectively evaluated. From July 2011 to March 2012, 531 children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia were enrolled. In all patients, throat swabs were obtained on admission for the detection of M. pneumoniae DNA, and paired serum samples were obtained to assay M. pneumoniae particle agglutination (PA) antibody titers. M. pneumoniae pneumonia was diagnosed by either a positive LAMP assay or an increase of 4-fold or greater in the PA titer. Overall, 271 children (51.0% of the patients with pneumonia) were diagnosed with M. pneumoniae pneumonia. Among these, 258 (95.2%) and 248 (91.5%) were identified by the LAMP assay and serological tests, respectively. When the results of serological tests were considered as standard, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the LAMP assay were 94.8%, 91.9%, and 91.1% and 95.2%, respectively. The median duration of pharyngeal carriage, as measured by the LAMP assay, was 9.5 days. Thus, the LAMP assay is useful in the rapid diagnosis of M. pneumoniae pneumonia.