A potent antibody-secreting B cell response to Mycoplasma pneumoniae in children with pneumonia

Wan Chun Lai, Yu Chia Hsieh, Yi Ching Chen, Chen Yen Kuo, Chih Jung Chen, Yhu Chering Huang, Cheng Hsun Chiu, Tzou Yien Lin, Kuan Ying A. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a major pathogen for community-acquired pneumonia and frequently causes outbreaks in children. M. pneumoniae-specific antibody response is detected upon acute infection and the serology is widely used in the clinical setting. Nevertheless, the cellular basis for antigen-specific antibody response to acute M. pneumoniae infection is largely undetermined in children. Methods: Hospitalized children with community-acquired pneumonia were enrolled and the infection with M. pneumoniae was confirmed with positive PCR result and negative findings for other pathogens. The M. pneumoniae P1-specific antibody-secreting B cell (ASC) response was examined with the ex vivo enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and the relationships between the ASC frequency and serological level and clinical parameters within M. pneumoniae patients were studied. Results: A robust M. pneumoniae P1-specific ASC response was detected in the peripheral blood among M. pneumoniae-positive patients. By contrast, no M. pneumoniae-specific ASCs were detected among M. pneumoniae-negative patients. The IgM-secreting B cells are the predominant class and account for over 60% of total circulating M. pneumoniae-specific ASCs in the acute phase of illness. The M. pneumoniae P1-specific ASC frequency significantly correlated with the fever duration, and the IgG ASC frequency significantly correlated with serological titer among patients. Conclusion: A rapid and potent elicitation of peripheral M. pneumoniae-specific ASC response to acute infection provides the cellular basis of antigen-specific humoral response and indicates the potential of cell-based diagnostic tool for acute M. pneumoniae infection. Our findings warrant further investigations into functional and molecular aspects of antibody immunity to M. pneumoniae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody-secreting B cell
  • Children
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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