Open Access

Exploring the pathogenetic mechanisms of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Vasiliki Epameinondas Georgakopoulou
    • Ioannis G. Lempesis
    • Pagona Sklapani
    • Nikolaos Trakas
    • Demetrios A. Spandidos
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: April 30, 2024
  • Article Number: 271
  • Copyright: © Georgakopoulou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Mycoplasmas, the smallest self‑replicating prokaryotes without a cell wall, are the most prevalent and extensively studied species in humans. They significantly contribute to chronic respiratory tract illnesses and pneumonia, with children and adolescents being particularly vulnerable. Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) infections typically tend to be self‑limiting and mild but can progress to severe or even life‑threatening conditions in certain individuals. Extrapulmonary effects often occur without pneumonia, and both intrapulmonary and extrapulmonary complications operate through separate pathological mechanisms. The indirect immune‑mediated damage of the immune system, vascular blockages brought on by vasculitis or thrombosis and direct harm from invasion or locally induced inflammatory cytokines are potential causes of extrapulmonary manifestations due to M. pneumoniae. Proteins associated with adhesion serve as the primary factor crucial for the pathogenicity of M. pneumoniae, relying on a specialized polarized terminal attachment organelle. The type and density of these host receptors significantly impact the adhesion and movement of M. pneumoniae, subsequently influencing the pathogenic mechanism and infection outcomes. Adjacent proteins are crucial for the proper assembly of the attachment organelle, with variations in the genetic domains of P1, P40 and P90 surfaces contributing to the variability of clinical symptoms and offering new avenues for developing vaccines against M. pneumoniae infections. M. pneumoniae causes oxidative stress within respiratory tract epithelial cells by adhering to host cells and releasing hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radicals. This oxidative stress enhances the vulnerability of host cells to harm induced by oxygen molecules. The lack of superoxide dismutase and catalase of bacteria allows it to hinder the catalase activity of the host cell, leading to the reduced breakdown of peroxides. Lung macrophages play a significant role in managing M. pneumoniae infection, identifying it via Toll‑like receptor 2 and initiating the myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88‑nuclear factor κΒ signaling cascade. However, the precise mechanisms enabling M. pneumoniae to evade intracellular host defenses remain unknown, necessitating further exploration of the pathways involved in intracellular survival. The present comprehensive review delves into the pathogenesis of M. pneumoniae infection within the pulmonary system and into extrapulmonary areas, outlining its impact.
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Georgakopoulou VE, Lempesis IG, Sklapani P, Trakas N and Spandidos DA: Exploring the pathogenetic mechanisms of <em>Mycoplasma</em> <em>pneumoniae</em> (Review). Exp Ther Med 28: 271, 2024
Georgakopoulou, V.E., Lempesis, I.G., Sklapani, P., Trakas, N., & Spandidos, D.A. (2024). Exploring the pathogenetic mechanisms of <em>Mycoplasma</em> <em>pneumoniae</em> (Review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 28, 271.
Georgakopoulou, V. E., Lempesis, I. G., Sklapani, P., Trakas, N., Spandidos, D. A."Exploring the pathogenetic mechanisms of <em>Mycoplasma</em> <em>pneumoniae</em> (Review)". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 28.1 (2024): 271.
Georgakopoulou, V. E., Lempesis, I. G., Sklapani, P., Trakas, N., Spandidos, D. A."Exploring the pathogenetic mechanisms of <em>Mycoplasma</em> <em>pneumoniae</em> (Review)". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 28, no. 1 (2024): 271.