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

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In a recent study published in the journal Dr Euro surveillanceA group of researchers in the Netherlands reported a recent increase Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infections in the country and compared to past trends across countries and Europe.

Study: Increased incidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections and hospitalizations in the Netherlands, November to December 2023.  Image credit: Katerina Kahn/ShutterstockStudy: Increasing incidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections and hospitalizations in the Netherlands, November to December 2023. Image credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock


Mycoplasma pneumoniae It is one of the most common etiological agents for upper and lower respiratory tract infections across all ages. This bacterium causes recurrent epidemics around the world, with the last epidemic in Europe occurring between 2019 and 2020. infection with M. Pneumonia Encephalitis and lesions of the mucous membrane known as erythema exudative multiforme also occur.

Its occurrence M. Pneumonia Infections in the Netherlands have declined over the years. However, in a regional hospital recently M. There has been a sudden increase in pneumonia infections, leading researchers to wonder whether similar trends in incidence have been observed nationwide and across Europe.

About the study

In the current study, researchers used data from the Regional Public Health Laboratory Kennemerland, a diagnostic center at Spurn Gasthuis Regional Hospital, to gain insight into recent increases. M. Pneumonia Nosocomial infections. Data includes number of detected cases M. Pneumonia All patient demographics, such as age, sex, admission to intensive care unit, and duration of hospitalization, from 2017 to 2023.

Hospitalization is attributed M. Pneumonia Infections if they were preceded by detection M. Pneumonia Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing using oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs up to two days prior to admission.

In addition, to determine national trends in M. Pneumonia Infections across the Netherlands are obtained from a surveillance system run by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, which receives information on the types and numbers of pathogens identified by the Dutch Working Group on Clinical Virology. Society for Clinical Microbiology. These data do not include methods used for pathogen detection or demographic information about patients.

In addition, the researchers also used data from a digital surveillance system that collected data on respiratory symptoms since 2020 from voluntary participants over 16 years of age in the resident population of the Netherlands.

The National Public Health Institute of the Netherlands also instructed individuals experiencing respiratory symptoms to provide oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs, which were analyzed weekly. Data from these PCR tests were also included in the assessment of national trends M. Pneumonia infection


The findings suggest that Spurn Gasthuis and regional hospitals in the Netherlands experienced a significant increase in the number of cases overall. M. Pneumonia Transmission from October 2023. Number of associated hospitalizations M. Pneumonia Infections in regional hospitals also increased during this period. Furthermore, the median age of patients was significantly younger (28 years), compared to the epidemic that occurred between 2019 and 2020, where the median age was 40.

The study found that 133 of the patients admitted to regional hospitals M. Pneumonia Infections, 55 under 18 years of age, 27 patients between five and 11 years of age. Even among adults, most patients were 18 to 29 years old and 30 to 39 years old. In comparison, the previous pandemic from 2019 to 2020 saw a total of 68 cases M. Pneumonia infection, with a significantly higher median age of patients. Researchers observed similar trends in Denmark.

Although the reason for this sudden increase M. Pneumonia Transmission is not yet known, researchers hypothesize that it may be due to a change in dominant M. Pneumonia As a result of strain or reduction of social interaction and other non-pharmaceutical interventions implemented during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. They believe that these interactions may reduce herd immunity M. Pneumonia.


Overall, the results indicate that the Netherlands has experienced a sudden increase in incidence M. Pneumonia Transmission from October 2023. Moreover, compared to previous epidemics, the median age of patients was significantly lower at 28 years, indicating that younger individuals appear to be more susceptible to this strain. Researchers believe that more information on disease severity and circulation M. Pneumonia Strain is necessary to understand this current trend M. Pneumonia infection

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, Vann, and Houten, Vann. (2024). Increasing incidence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections and hospitalizations in the Netherlands, November to December 2023. Euro surveillance29, 4. DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.4.2300724,

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