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.