PLEUROPNEUMONIA-LIKE organisms, although known to produce disease in animals, are of questionable pathogenicity in human beings. They have been isolated repeatedly from the genitourinary tract, apparently as part of the normal flora of females, but possibly associated with nonspecific urethritis and Reiter's syndrome (nongonorrheal combination of arthritis, conjunctivitis and urethritis) in the male. The finding of similar pleuropneumonia-like organisms in blood cultures of two children with nonthrombocytopenic purpura and in one child with brain abscess and meningitis leads to the consideration of possible pathogenicity of such organisms in unsuspected situations in childhood.
Pleuropneumonia-like organisms are a group of extremely pleomorphic, filtrable, poorly staining bodies that can be grown on enriched artificial mediums. Cultures consist of small granules and fine filaments. The small granules enlarge to form soft, spherical masses of varied size which finally rupture and free numerous daughter granules. The method of reproduction is in contrast to the usual
CARLSON HJ, SPECTOR S, DOUGLAS HG. POSSIBLE ROLE OF PLEUROPNEUMONIA-LIKE ORGANISMS IN ETIOLOGY OF DISEASE IN CHILDHOOD. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1951;81(2):193-206. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1951.02040030202002