Microbiological profile of community-acquired pneumonia in adults over the last 20 years

J Infect. 2005 Feb;50(2):107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2004.05.003.


Objectives: To assess any change in the microbiological profile of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in our region over the last 20 years.

Methods: We compared hospital admissions aged between 15 and 74 (n = 61) in Norfolk (UK) for CAP over a 19-month period in 1982-3 (ST1) with all admissions aged over 16 (n = 99) over a 14-month period in 1999-2000 (ST2). Data were collected for ST1 as part of a prospective multicentred research study, in a period of high Mycoplasma pneumoniae activity. ST2 was a prospective study of clinical practice. Chlamydophila species were differentiated in ST2 using whole-cell immunofluorescence.

Results: A microbiological diagnosis was made in 38 (62%) in ST1 compared with 48 (48%) in ST2. Streptococcus pneumoniae remained the most common pathogen (26% in ST1, 25% in ST2). The incidence of M. pneumoniae was 18% in ST1 and 4% in ST2. The proportion of viral pathogens identified was similar: nine (15%) in ST1 and 14 (14%) in ST2. No cases of Chlamydophila pneumoniae were diagnosed in ST2.

Conclusions: The microbiological profile of CAP in Norfolk (UK) has not changed over the last 20 years and C. pneumoniae is not a frequent pathogen.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chlamydophila / isolation & purification
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / microbiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification