Pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in 148 hospitalized adult patients

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1997 Dec;16(12):863-70. doi: 10.1007/BF01700551.


In a previous prospective study, Streptococcus pneumoniae was identified as the causative agent in 148 (42.8%) of 346 adult patients hospitalized over the course of one year with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel. The present study characterizes those cases in which Streptococcus pneumoniae was the only pathogen and those in which additional etiological agents were identified. Pneumococcal CAP was diagnosed by standard blood cultures or positive serological tests by one of two laboratory methods. In 100 (67.6%) patients, at least one other etiological agent of CAP was identified in addition to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Compared with patients who were not infected by Streptococcus pneumoniae, patients with Streptococcus pneumoniae CAP were older and had a higher rate of comorbidity (39.5% vs. 29.8%). Streptococcus pneumoniae CAP had a more severe clinical course and a higher mortality rate, especially when Streptococcus pneumoniae was the only pathogen. Community-acquired pneumonia due to Streptococcus pneumoniae only was more similar in its clinical manifestations to classic typical pneumococcal pneumonia. When an additional etiological agent was identified, the clinical characteristics could not be distinguished from those of atypical pneumonia. It is concluded that Streptococcus pneumoniae remains the principal cause of CAP in this region. The frequency of additional etiological agents of CAP and the difficulty in differentiating clinically between cases due to Streptococcus pneumoniae only and those due to Streptococcus pneumoniae plus other organisms necessitates initial empirical treatment that covers Streptococcus pneumoniae as well as other causative agents of atypical pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Coxiella burnetii / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Legionella / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / isolation & purification
  • Mycoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viruses / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents