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. 2018 Jan;23(1):28-35.
doi: 10.1111/resp.13137. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Pneumonia in the Tropics

Free PMC article

Pneumonia in the Tropics

Tow Keang Lim et al. Respirology. .
Free PMC article


Pneumonia in the tropics poses a heavy disease burden. The complex interplay of climate change, human migration influences and socio-economic factors lead to changing patterns of respiratory infections in tropical climate but also increasingly in temperate countries. Tropical and poorer countries, especially South East Asia, also bear the brunt of the global tuberculosis (TB) pandemic, accounting for almost one-third of the burden. But, as human migration patterns evolve, we expect to see more TB cases in higher income as well as temperate countries, and rise in infections like scrub typhus from ecotourism activities. Fuelled by the ease of air travel, novel zoonotic infections originating from the tropics have led to global respiratory pandemics. As such, clinicians worldwide should be aware of these new conditions as well as classical tropical bacterial pneumonias such as melioidosis. Rarer entities such as co-infections of leptospirosis and chikungunya or dengue will need careful consideration as well. In this review, we highlight aetiologies of pneumonia seen more commonly in the tropics compared with temperate regions, their disease burden, variable clinical presentations as well as impact on healthcare delivery.

Keywords: epidemiology; infection; pneumonia; tropical; tropics.

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