Pneumonia due to Chlamydia pneumoniae: prevalence, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment

Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Dec;21 Suppl 3:S244-52. doi: 10.1093/clind/21.supplement_3.s244.


The association of Chlamydia pneumoniae with pneumonia was first reported in 1985. This review summarizes the data collected during the subsequent 10 years on the prevalence, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of this disease, which is now associated with approximately 10% of all cases of pneumonia worldwide. Primary infections are documented most often in schoolchildren and young adults, while reinfections are prominent among the elderly. C. pneumoniae pneumonia is difficult to diagnose; its onset is often insidious, with nonpurulent sputum and without leukocytosis. The microbiological diagnosis is based on the results of serological tests, polymerase chain reaction, and culture. Tetracyclines and macrolides are effective in the treatment of C. pneumoniae pneumonia, as are new quinolones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / therapy
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae* / drug effects
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae* / immunology
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae* / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antigens, Bacterial