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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 986527, 11 pages
Clinical Study

Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection in Children Is a Risk Factor for Developing Allergic Diseases

1Clinical Laboratory, The Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China
2The Department of Hematology/Oncology, The Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310003, China
3Clinical Laboratory, Hangzhou First People’s Hospital, Hangzhou 310003, China

Received 7 January 2014; Accepted 16 February 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editors: A. Funaro, C. Riccardi, and H. Zan

Copyright © 2014 Qing Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection is the dominant cause of pneumonia in children. We sought to determine the relationship between MP infection and secondary allergic disease and to clarify the associated mechanisms of inflammatory response. A prospective study was performed among 1330 patients diagnosed with pneumonia to investigate the patient immune status by determining the correlation between MP infection, immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, and a spectrum of associated serum cytokines. Serum IgE, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 levels for MPP patients in the acute phase were obviously higher than those in the recovery phase (). MPP patients with allergic conditions had increased serum IgE levels and increased IL-4/INF-γ ratio, and IgE and Eosinophil Cationic Protein were further elevated in patients who eventually developed secondary asthma changes. Patients with severe pneumonia and high clinical pulmonary infection scores presented higher levels of IL-4 and IL-5 in serum than those with low scores (). The proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that secreted IL-4 was significantly increased in MPP patients with elevated IgE. Our data demonstrate a significant correlation between MP infection and IgE levels, which is associated with a Th1/Th2 cytokine imbalance.