Community-acquired pneumonia in children

Early Hum Dev. 2013 Oct;89 Suppl 3:S49-52. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.07.023. Epub 2013 Aug 17.


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) remains a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide even in industrialised countries, and its incidence is highest among children aged <5 years. Over the last two years, three international guidelines have been updated with new evidence concerning the incidence, aetiology and management of childhood CAP, but there are still some major problems in standardisation. The main aim of this review is to consider the available data concerning the aetiology, diagnosis, evaluation of severity, and treatment of paediatric CAP. Analysis of the literature shows that there are a number of unanswered questions concerning the management of CAP, including its definition, the absence of a paediatric CAP severity score, the difficulty of identifying its aetiology, the emergence of resistance of the most frequent respiratory pathogens to the most widely used anti-infectious agents, and the lack of information concerning the changes in CAP epidemiology following the introduction of vaccines against respiratory pathogens. More research is clearly required in various areas, and further efforts are needed to increase vaccination coverage with the already available vaccines in order to reduce the occurrence of the disease.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Antimicrobial treatment; Community-acquired pneumonia; Pneumonia; Respiratory infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / diagnosis
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / etiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / therapy