Pneumonia in childhood: etiology and response to antimicrobial therapy

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1992 Mar;11(3):217-23. doi: 10.1007/BF02098083.


A prospective eight-month study was carried out in 50 children admitted to hospital for radiologically confirmed community-acquired pneumonia. A potential causative agent of infection was identified in 44 (88%) cases. Using virus isolation, virus antigen detection and enzyme immunoassay serology, respiratory virus infection was diagnosed in 30 (60%) patients. Antibody assays for seven bacteria and antigen detection from serum and urine for Streptococcus pneumoniae produced evidence of bacterial infection in 31 (62%) cases. Streptococcus pneumoniae (38%), respiratory syncytial virus (30%) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (20%) were the most common causative agents. A mixed infection was diagnosed in 25 (50%) episodes. Nine patients failed to respond to antibiotics within 24 h after onset of treatment. Three of them had a pure viral infection, three a mixed viral-bacterial infection, two a Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection mixed with other bacteria and one a pure Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. All three Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections were initially treated with penicillin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Penicillins / therapeutic use
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia / microbiology*
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Viral / microbiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Respirovirus Infections
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Superinfection
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillins
  • Amoxicillin