Journal Article

Etiology of Pneumonia and Other Common Childhood Infections Requiring Hospitalization and Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy

Elina Vuori, Heikki Peltola, Markku J. T. Kallio, Maija Leinonen and Klaus Hedman

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 3, pages 566-572
Published in print September 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514697
Etiology of Pneumonia and Other Common Childhood Infections Requiring Hospitalization and Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy

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The etiology of acute lower respiratory tract infections (mostly pneumonia) in children is well characterized, but these are only some of the community-acquired infections warranting parenteral antimicrobial therapy. We prospectively evaluated all such infections among children aged 3 months to 15 years by use of blood cultures, examination of nasopharyngeal aspirates, and serologies for 15 viral, 7 bacterial, and 1 protozoal agent. Immunocompromised patients and those with urinary tract infection, meningitis, or osteoarticular infections were excluded. In all, 170 children were included. The pathogenic agent was identified in 62% of the cases. Bacteria were detected in 54%, and a pneumococcus was found in 59% of the cases identified. Viruses were found in 15% overall. Sole bacterial or viral infections were detected in 47.1% and 8.1%, respectively. Since thorough screening established the etiology in less than two-thirds of patients ill enough to be hospitalized and treated parenterally, better diagnostics are needed, especially to identify those who would truly benefit from antimicrobial therapy.

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

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