Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Immune response to Mycoplasma pneumoniae P1 and P116 in patients with atypical pneumonia analyzed by ELISA

Mette Drasbek1, Pernille K Nielsen2, Kenneth Persson3, Svend Birkelund12 and Gunna Christiansen2*

Author Affiliations

1 Loke Diagnostics ApS, Forskerparken Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10 C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, The Bartholin Building, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

3 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Malmo University Hospital, Sweden

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2004, 4:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-4-7

Published: 5 February 2004



Serology is often used for the diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae. It is important to identify specific antigens that can distinguish between the presence or absence of antibodies against M. pneumoniae. The two proteins, P116 and P1, are found to be immunogenic. By using these in ELISA it is possible to identify an immune response against M. pneumoniae in serum samples.


A recombinant protein derived from the P116 protein and one from the P1 protein were used in two ELISA tests, rP116-ELISA and rP1-ELISA. Human serum samples from patients with atypical pneumonia were tested and compared to the results of the complement fixation test. There was a good agreement between the two tests but the rP1-ELISA showed the best discrimination between positive and negative samples.


Two ELISA tests based on recombinant proteins have been analysed and compared to the complement fixation test results. The two ELISA tests were found suitable for use in serodiagnostics of M. pneumoniae infections. The use of specific antigens eliminates the risk of cross reaction to an immune response against other bacteria.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae; atypical pneumonia patients; ELISA; recombinant proteins