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Beaumont Laboratory

Mycoplasma pneumoniae by Nucleic Acid Amplification

Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Pneumonia, Walking Pneumonia, Atypical Pneumonia, Pharyngitis, Bronchitis, Dry Cough, EPIC: LAB6840, SOFT: IMYCG

Specimen Collection Criteria


  • Swab (preferred): Throat OR Nasopharynegeal (NP) in viral transport medium (i.e. UVT, UTM).
  • Fluids (alternative): BAL, bronchial washing, pleural, or sputum, in a sterile, screw-capped collection container.

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Maintain all specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Swab in viral transport medium, or fluid specimen in a sterile collection container, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Dry swabs.
  • Specimens in non-sterile or leaking containers.
  • Specimens subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 48 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 5 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) for 30 days.


Royal Oak Clinical Molecular Pathology Laboratory.


Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Results available within 2-5 days.

Reference Range

Negative: Mycoplasma pneumoniae DNA not detected.

Test Methodology

Nucleic Acid Amplification (FDA-Approved).


A negative results does not rule out the presence of inhibitors in the patient specimen, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae DNA concentrations below the level of detection by the assay.

Clinical Utility

This assay aids in the detection of M. pneumoniae infections. This assay detects the pathogen's DNA and does not rely upon the presence of viable organisms or seroconversion.

Clinical Disease

  • M. pneumoniae is primarily a respiratory tract pathogen that involves the nasopharynx, throat, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the leading cause of atypical, community-acquired ("walking") pneumonia in developed countries.
  • Mycoplasmal disease usually presents with an insidious onset of fever, malaise, headache, and nonproductive cough. The frequency and severity of the cough often increases over 1-2 days and may eventually become debilitating. Most infections are self-limiting and are rarely fatal.


Mycoplasma infections occur throughout the year, especially in temperate climates. In the U.S. it is estimated that at least one case of Mycoplasma pneumonia occurs for each 1000 persons/year. Infections often appear to be sporadic due to the relatively long incubation period. Symptomatic infections occur most commonly in children and young adults (ages 2-19 years).

Incubation Period

The incubation period is 2-3 weeks.


Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections are spread from patient to patient via respiratory droplets produced by coughing.

CPT Code


Test Codes


Last Updated


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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.