Bacterial isolates and cigarette smoking in patients with chronic bronchitis: results from an Italian multicenter survey

Clin Ther. 1990 Mar-Apr;12(2):105-17.


Patients who were cigarette smokers suffering exacerbations of chronic bronchitis were examined in eight outpatient clinics in five regions of Italy, three from the South (Campania, 82 patients; Sicily, 82 patients; and Puglia, 29 patients) and two from North (Lombardy, 33 patients; and Liguria, 50 patients). Haemophilus influenzae was the most frequently isolated bacterium in the patients' sputum (in 30% of the total group), followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (in 20%), Staphylococcus aureus (in 25%), and Branhamella catarrhalis (in 7%). H. influenzae was the most common bacterium in the South (in 37%) and S aureus in the North (in 13%). Smoking index scores (number of cigarettes smoked daily x years of smoking) were 827 in patients in whom H influenzae was isolated; 691 in patients with S aureus; 599 in patients with S pneumoniae; 542 in patients with B catarrhalis; and 446 in patients in whom no isolates were found. Pulmonary function was most severely decreased in patients positive for H influenzae and S aureus. The results indicate an association between heavy cigarette smoking and lower respiratory tract infections that is influenced by regional differences.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Bronchitis / microbiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Haemophilus influenzae / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / drug effects
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects