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Review
, 99 (11), 1602-8

Community-acquired Pneumonia in Children: What's Old? What's New?

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Review

Community-acquired Pneumonia in Children: What's Old? What's New?

Massimiliano Don et al. Acta Paediatr.

Abstract

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) still remains a significant cause for childhood morbidity worldwide. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most important causative agent at all ages. Respiratory syncytial virus is common in young children, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in schoolchildren. Paediatric CAP is universally treated with antibiotics; amoxicillin is the drug of choice for presumably pneumococcal and a macrolide for presumably atypical bacterial cases. Because of globally increased resistances, macrolides are not safety for pneumococcal CAP. At present, available prospective research data on the epidemiology of paediatric CAP in western countries are from 1970s to 1980s; correspondingly, data on bacterial aetiology are mainly from 1980s to 1990s. Current concepts on pneumococcal aetiology are mostly based on poorly validated antibody assays. Most data on clinical characteristics in children's CAP, as well as on antibiotic treatment come from developing countries, thus not being directly applicable in western communities. Recent viral studies have revealed the role of rhinoviruses, metapneumovirus and bocavirus in the aetiology of paediatric CAP. This review critically summarizes the available data on epidemiology, aetiology, clinical presentation, treatment and outcome of CAP in children, with special focus on the newest microbial findings, the age and applicability of the data and the need of new studies.

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