Journal Article

Importance of Atypical Pathogens of Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Joseph F. Plouffe

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue Supplement_2, pages S35-S39
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/314058
Importance of Atypical Pathogens of Community-Acquired Pneumonia

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The atypical clinical presentation of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) was first recognized and reported by astute clinicians 50 years ago. The cause of pneumonia in this group eventually was shown to be Mycoplasma pneumoniae. More recently, Chlamydia pneumoniae also has been recognized as a cause of CAP. Legionella has been lumped together with M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae because of its antimicrobial susceptibility pattern. This group of organisms is susceptible to the macrolides, tetracycline, and the newer fluoroquinolones. However, Legionnaires' disease frequently presents a more acute clinical picture than either mycoplasmal or chlamydial infections. Recent data suggest that in the Medicare population hospitalized with pneumonia, morbidity and mortality can be decreased if initial therapy includes coverage for atypical pathogens (i.e., macrolides or fluoroquinolones). Unfortunately, few studies use culture methodology for atypical pathogens. Future studies of the efficacy of macrolide or fluoroquinolone therapy for CAP should include aggressive diagnostic studies for M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and Legionella species.

Journal Article.  3474 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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