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Mixed microbial aetiology of community-acquired pneumonia in children: Review article

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Korppi M. Mixed microbial aetiology of community-acquired pneumonia in children. APMIS 2002;110:515–22.

Seven paediatric studies on community-acquired pneumonia with serological methods for both viruses and bacteria have been published, allowing the evaluation of concomitant multiple etiological findings. In these studies, dual viral infection has been present in 0–14%, dual bacterial infection likewise in 0–14%, and mixed viral-bacterial infection in 3–30% of the pneumonia cases. The results confirm former clinical observations that respiratory viruses often pave the way for airway-colonising bacteria. The measured frequency of multiple infections has been dependent on the available test panel, mainly on the tests used for pneumococcal aetiology. Mixed viral-bacterial infections have been especially common in young children under 2 years of age, reflecting the high frequency of respiratory syncytial virus infections and their tendency to induce bacterial co-infections. No microbe-specific viral-bacterial associations have been demonstrated. The clinical implications of mixed viral-bacterial infections, compared with viral infections alone or bacterial infections alone, have so far remained unresolved. Current guidelines recommend antibiotic therapy for all community-acquired pneumonia cases in children.

Keywords: Community-acquired pneumonia; children; dual bacterial infection; mixed microbial aetiology, dual viral infection; mixed viral-bacterial infection

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: August 1, 2002


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