Rapid Etiological Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Young Men

Scand J Infect Dis Suppl. 1988;54:1-56. doi: 10.3109/inf.1988.20.suppl-54.01.


The major findings and conclusions of the present study are: 1. Evidence of the etiology of the pneumonia was established in 86% of 106 young men with pneumonia. Pneumococcus was the most common etiologic agent; it was detected definitely in 30% of the pneumonia patients, and possibly in another 20%, by blood culture, sputum culture, antigen detection, and serological methods. 2. Pneumococcal antigen detection from purulent pretreatment sputum samples was the best rapid diagnostic method for pneumococcus; it was capable of identifying 90% of the pneumococcal pneumonias definite by our criteria, whereas sputum Gram stain was positive in 65% of these. 3. Detection of adenoviral antigens from nasopharyngeal specimens (NPS) by EIA or IF method or adenovirus DNA by HYB method showed good specificity but a somewhat lower sensitivity than did adenovirus isolation from NPS. 4. Adenovirus antigens and DNA can be demonstrated also from sputum specimens. 5. EIA is slightly superior to the CF method in detecting antibody responses to adenovirus, but the detection of different antibody classes offers no additional diagnostic possibilities. 6. Isolation of Mycoplasma pneumoniae from bronchoalveolar fluid in pneumonia patients is a specific and sensitive method in the diagnosis of mycoplasmal pneumonia. 7. It seems possible to differentiate by clinical signs and symptoms and by high CRP (over 85mg/1) and WBC (over 10 x 10(9)/1) values pneumococcal pneumonias from viral, mycoplasmal and mixed pneumonias and from upper respiratory infections. Moderately elevated CRP values were observed in adenoviral (Mean 50 mg/1) and in mycoplasma (mean 59 mg/l) pneumonias, as well as in MRI (mean 44 mg/l).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis
  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis