Background: Initial empirical antimicrobial treatment of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is based on expected microbial patterns. We determined the incidence of, prognosis of, and risk factors for CAP due to gram-negative bacteria (GNB), including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Methods: Consecutive patients with CAP hospitalized in our 1000-bed tertiary care university teaching hospital were studied prospectively. Independent risk factors for CAP due to GNB and for death were identified by means of stepwise logistic regression analysis.
Results: From January 1, 1997, until December 31, 1998, 559 hospitalized patients with CAP were included. Sixty patients (11%) had CAP due to GNB, including P aeruginosa in 39 (65%). Probable aspiration (odds ratio [OR], 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-5.2; P =.04), previous hospital admission (OR, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.7-7.1; P<.001), previous antimicrobial treatment (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.01-3.7; P =.049), and the presence of pulmonary comorbidity (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.5-5.5; P =.02) were independent predictors of GNB. In a subgroup analysis of P aeruginosa pneumonia, pulmonary comorbidity (OR, 5.8; 95% CI, 2.2-15.3; P<.001) and previous hospital admission (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.8-8.3; P =.02) were predictive. Infection with GNB was independently associated with death (relative risk, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.6-7.4; P =.002).
Conclusions: In our setting, in every tenth patient with CAP, an etiology due to GNB has to be considered. Patients with probable aspiration, previous hospitalization or antimicrobial treatment, and pulmonary comorbidity are especially prone to GNB. These pathogens are also an independent risk factor for death in patients with CAP.