Viral and Mycoplasma pneumoniae community-acquired pneumonia and novel clinical outcome evaluation in ambulatory adult patients in China

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Nov;29(11):1443-8. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1003-2. Epub 2010 Jul 11.


Few studies have addressed the etiology and clinical outcomes of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) treated in an ambulatory setting. We investigated the etiology by the culture of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, urine antigen testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Legionella pneumoniae, and DNA or RNA determination of eight kinds of respiratory virus DNA or RNA. An etiological diagnosis was made in 51.8% of 197 patients. The most common pathogens were M. pneumoniae (29.4%) followed by influenza virus A, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, human metapneumovirus (9.6%), and S. pneumoniae (4.1%). Patients with mycoplasma infections were younger, less likely to have comorbidities, and less likely to have adequate sputum for gram stain and culture. Patients with viral infections were older and more likely to have poorly defined nodules on chest X-ray (CXR) or computed tomography (CT) scan. Among patients infected with M. pneumoniae, those with quinolones as initial prescriptions had shorter duration of fever after the initiation of antibiotics than patients with β-lactams, macrolides, or β-lactams + macrolides (p < 0.05). This study suggests that M. pneumoniae and respiratory viruses were the most frequent pathogens found in ambulatory adult CAP patients and quinolones were better than β-lactams, macrolides, or β-lactams + macrolides in the resolution of fever of M. pneumoniae pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • China / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / microbiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legionella pneumophila / isolation & purification
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma* / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma* / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / virology
  • Quinolones / therapeutic use
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Treatment Outcome
  • beta-Lactams / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Macrolides
  • Quinolones
  • beta-Lactams