Netherlands sees unexpected surge in Mycoplasma pneumoniae cases, younger population more affected


In a latest examine revealed within the journal Eurosurveillance, a workforce of researchers from the Netherlands reported on the latest enhance in Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections within the nation and in contrast it to previous tendencies throughout the nation and Europe.

Research: Increased incidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections and hospital admissions in the Netherlands, November to December 2023. Picture Credit score: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock


Mycoplasma pneumoniae is among the many most typical etiological brokers of higher and decrease respiratory tract infections throughout all ages. The bacterium causes recurrent epidemics throughout the globe, with the final epidemic in Europe occurring between 2019 and 2020. Infections with M. pneumoniae additionally end in encephalitis and lesions within the mucous membrane often called erythema exsudativum multiforme.

The incidence of M. pneumoniae infections within the Netherlands has been low for a number of years. Nevertheless, a regional hospital has lately seen a sudden enhance in instances involving M. pneumoniae infections, inflicting researchers to wonder if an analogous development in incidence has been noticed nationwide and throughout Europe.

Concerning the examine

Within the current examine, the researchers used knowledge obtained from the Regional Public Well being Laboratory Kennemerland, which is the diagnostic heart for the Spaarne Gasthuis Regional Hospital, to achieve insights into the latest enhance in M. pneumoniae infections on the hospital. The info included the variety of detected instances of M. pneumoniae infections and hospital admissions from 2017 to 2023, in addition to demographic data of all of the sufferers, resembling age, intercourse, intensive care unit admissions, and hospital admission length.

Hospital admissions have been attributed to M. pneumoniae infections in the event that they have been preceded by the detection of M. pneumoniae by way of a polymerase chain response (PCR) take a look at utilizing an oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab at most two days earlier than the admission.

Moreover, to find out the nationwide tendencies in M. pneumoniae infections, data from throughout the Netherlands was obtained from a surveillance system operated by the Dutch Nationwide Institute for Public Well being and the Surroundings, which receives knowledge on the sort and variety of pathogens being detected by the Dutch Working Group on Scientific Virology belonging to the Dutch Society for Scientific Microbiology. This knowledge doesn’t embody data on the strategies used for detecting the pathogen or demographic details about the sufferers.

Moreover, the researchers additionally used knowledge from a digital surveillance system the place data on respiratory signs has been collected from 2020 onwards from voluntary contributors above 16 years of age belonging to the resident inhabitants of the Netherlands.

The Nationwide Public Well being Institute within the Netherlands had additionally instructed subsets of people experiencing respiratory signs to offer oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs, which have been analyzed weekly. The info from these PCR checks have been additionally included within the evaluation of the nationwide tendencies in M. pneumoniae infections.


The findings steered that the regional hospital of Spaarne Gasthuis and the Netherlands general skilled a major enhance within the variety of instances of M. pneumoniae infections since October 2023. The variety of hospital admissions related to M. pneumoniae infections on the regional hospital had additionally elevated throughout this era. Moreover, the median age of the sufferers was considerably decrease (28 years) as in comparison with the epidemic that occurred between 2019 and 2020, the place the median age was 40.

The examine discovered that out of the 133 sufferers who have been admitted to the regional hospital attributable to M. pneumoniae infections, 55 have been beneath 18 years of age, with 27 sufferers between the ages of 5 and 11 years. Even amongst adults, most sufferers have been of the youthful age teams of 18 to 29 years and 30 to 39 years. Compared, the earlier epidemic from 2019 to 2020 noticed a complete of 68 instances of M. pneumoniae infections, with a considerably greater median age of the sufferers. The researchers additionally noticed comparable tendencies in Denmark.

Whereas the rationale for this sudden enhance in M. pneumoniae infections isn’t but identified, the researchers speculated that it might be both attributable to a shift within the dominant M. pneumoniae pressure or as a consequence of a lower in social interactions and different non-pharmaceutical interventions carried out in the course of the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. They consider that these interactions may have lowered the herd immunity towards M. pneumoniae.


Total, the findings indicated that the Netherlands had skilled a sudden enhance within the incidence of M. pneumoniae infections since October 2023. Moreover, in comparison with the earlier epidemic, the median age of the sufferers was considerably decrease at 28 years, indicating that youthful people appeared to be extra inclined to this pressure. The researchers consider that extra knowledge on illness severity and the circulating M. pneumoniae strains is required to know this present development of M. pneumoniae infections.

Journal reference:

  • Bolluyt, Dita C, Euser, Sjoerd M, Souverein, D., Rossum, van, Kalpoe, J., Westreenen, van, Goeijenbier, M., Snijders, D., Eggink, D., Jongenotter, F., Lelyveld, van, & Houten, van. (2024). Elevated incidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections and hospital admissions within the Netherlands, November to December 2023. Eurosurveillance, 29, 4. DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.4.2300724,  
Leave A Reply