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DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01930-17; PMCID: PMC6018340


Copyright © 2018 Kanwar et al. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia. The illumigene Mycoplasma Direct (IMD) DNA amplification assay is a qualitative in vitro test utilizing loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology for the direct detection of M. Pneumoniae DNA in respiratory specimens. The IMD assay does not require the preextraction of nucleic acids from specimens, which is a prerequisite step for the previously approved illumigene Mycoplasma (iM) assay. The aim of this prospective multicenter study was to evaluate the performance characteristics of the newly developed IMD assay, compared with the iM assay. Subjects with symptoms of upper respiratory illnesses suggesting M. Pneumoniae infection were enrolled at three sites in the United States. Respiratory specimens were obtained using dual throat swabs. One swab was tested with the IMD assay at each enrollment site. Reference testing with the iM assay was performed by the manufacturer. Among 456 specimens tested, the iM reference method detected M. Pneumoniae in 25 specimens (5.5%), while the IMD assay identified 34 specimens (7.5%) as M. Pneumoniae positive. There were 10 false-positive results and 1 false-negative result with the IMD assay. The overall positive and negative agreement rates were 96.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 80.5 to 99.3%) and 97.7% (95% CI, 95.8 to 98.7%), respectively. The overall agreement rate was determined to be 97.6% (95% CI, 95.7 to 98.6%). We conclude that the IMD test results were comparable to the iM assay results. The removal of the DNA extraction step for the IMD assay simplifies testing, saves time, and reduces the costs of detecting M. Pneumoniae from throat swabs, compared to the iM assay.

Journal Title

Journal of Clinical Microbiology






Illumigene assay, LAMP technology, Mycoplasma pneumoniae


This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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