Respiratory infections, especially community-acquired forms of pneumonia (CAP), are challenging for clinicians because (1) a causative microorganism can only be found in about 50% of cases; (2) initial therapy, therefore, must be based on a probable or most likely etiology in the context of the patient's overall medical condition; and (3) new microbes or those considered previously as normal flora or less virulent forms seem responsible for some cases. It is important to be acquainted with new causes of infection which include Legionella species, Chlamydia pneumoniae, diphtheroids in certain instances (Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum), and viruses such as the Hanta strains. Infections with Bordetella pertussis are increasing. However, the ever present and most common cause of CAP, Streptococcus pneumoniae, continues to present problems because of increasing antibiotic resistance, the high case fatality rate when bacteremia accompanies pneumonia, and the inability to give prophylactic immunization to all people with risk factors for this infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine