Microbiological etiology in clinically diagnosed community-acquired pneumonia in primary care in Orebro, Sweden

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Jul;9(7):645-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0691.2003.00602.x.


Objective: To study the etiology of clinically diagnosed community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in antibiotically naive patients attending a primary care center and treated at their homes.

Methods: A three-year prospective study was carried out, and 177 patients presenting with clinical signs of CAP were included. All patients had chest X-rays after inclusion, and 82 (46%) showed infiltrates. Nasopharyngeal swab culture was performed on all patients, and 51% produced a representative sputum sample. Paired sera were obtained from 176 patients.

Results: Among the 82 patients with radiographically proven CAP, Streptococcus pneumoniae was detected in 26 patients (32%), Haemophilus influenzae in 23 (28%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae in 15 (18%), and Chlamydia pneumoniae in four (5%). Serologic evidence of a viral infection was found in 13 patients (16%). Among the 95 patients without infiltrates, S. pneumoniae was found in 21 (22%), H. influenzae in 14 (15%), M. pneumoniae in two (2%), and C. pneumoniae in five (5%). Viral infection was detected in 19 (20%) of these 95 patients.

Conclusion: In primary care in Sweden, the initial antibiotic treatment in any patient with pneumonia should be effective against S. pneumonia and H. influenzae. In addition, M. pneumoniae should be targeted during recurrent epidemics. C. pneumoniae, and especially Legionella, seem to be uncommon in primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / etiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Sweden / epidemiology