Spectrum of pathogens of in-patient children and youths with community acquired pneumonia: a 3 year survey of a community hospital in Vienna, Austria

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2013 Nov;125(21-22):674-9. doi: 10.1007/s00508-013-0426-z. Epub 2013 Oct 1.


Background: No actual data are available on the epidemiology and morbidity of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) in youths and children in Vienna, Austria.

Objective: The objective was to determine the epidemiology of CAP and morbidity of children hospitalized due to CAP in a tertiary care facility.

Methods: During three winter seasons youths and children hospitalized due to CAP were enrolled. Testing for viral and bacterial pathogens of pneumonia was performed in a routine clinical setting. Blood cultures were performed; respiratory viruses, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae were searched for by an established Real Time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel. Clinical signs and indices of inflammation were documented.

Results: Out of 279 children and youths with CAP a causative agent could be detected in 190 (68 %). Viruses and bacteria were diagnosed in 107 (57 %) and 58 patients (30 %), respectively. Co-infection was found in 20 patients (10 %), Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Clamydia pneumoniae in 16 cases (8 %). In seven patients blood cultures were positive. C-reactive protein (CRP) was significantly higher in children with positive Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen (SPAG) than with viral infection and/or co-infection. Clinical parameters showed no statistically significant differences. C. pneumoniae and M. pneumoniae were only diagnosed in children and youths with 5 years and older.

Conclusions: Testing for pathogens in CAP in clinical routine achieves a high recovery rate. Blood cultures are rarely helpful, but the molecular testing for viruses seemed to be helpful to establish the diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*