Prospective study of epidemiology and prognostic factors in community-acquired pneumonia

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1996 Jul;15(7):556-60. doi: 10.1007/BF01709363.


Of 342 patients with community-acquired pneumonia, 100 were diagnosed etiologically. In these patients, disease epidemiology, prognostic factors, and influence of antibiotic treatment were analyzed prospectively. Fifty-two patients were treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic (ceftriaxone), and 48 received a medium-spectrum antibiotic (cefuroxime); some patients in each group also received erythromycin. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most frequently isolated microorganism (43%), followed by Chlamydia pneumoniae (21%), Haemophilus influenzae (19%), and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (11%). Factors significantly associated with increased mortality were initially critical or poor clinical condition, involvement of two or more lobules, and complications. Prior administration of antibiotics was predictive of penicillin and erythromycin resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae, but had no effect on the course of the disease. Eight patients died, 89 were cured, and three had recurrences; there was no significant difference in outcome between treatment groups, regardless of whether patients also received erythromycin. Increased knowledge of epidemiological, predictive, and prognostic factors can significantly improve early diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia and facilitate the choice of appropriate antibiotic treatment, thereby helping to reduce morbidity and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ceftriaxone / therapeutic use
  • Cefuroxime / therapeutic use
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Community-Acquired Infections / diagnosis
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Penicillin Resistance
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Erythromycin
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Cefuroxime