Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Severity is variable.
Pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria and less commonly by other microorganisms, certain medications and conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Risk factors include other lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, and asthma, diabetes, heart failure, a history of smoking, a poor ability to cough such as following a stroke, or a weak immune system. Diagnosis is often based on the symptoms and physical examination. Chest X-ray, blood tests, and culture of the sputum may help confirm the diagnosis. The disease may be classified by where it was acquired with community, hospital, or health care associated pneumonia.
Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. Other methods of prevention include handwashing and not smoking. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Pneumonia believed to be due to bacteria is treated with antibiotics. If the pneumonia is severe, the affected person is generally hospitalized. Oxygen therapy may be used if oxygen levels are low.
Pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people globally (7% of the population) and results in about 4 million deaths per year. Pneumonia was regarded by William Osler in the 19th century as "the captain of the men of death". With the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines in the 20th century, survival improved. Nevertheless, in developing countries, and among the very old, the very young, and the chronically ill, pneumonia remains a leading cause of death. Pneumonia often shortens suffering among those already close to death and has thus been called "the old man's friend".
|Chest X-ray of a pneumonia caused by influenza and Haemophilus influenzae, with patchy consolidations, mainly in the right upper lobe (arrow).|
|Specialty||Pulmonology, Infectious disease|
|Symptoms||Cough, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, fever|
|Causes||Bacteria, virus, aspiration|
|Risk factors||Cystic fibrosis, COPD, asthma, diabetes, heart failure, history of smoking|
|Diagnostic method||Based on symptoms, chest X-ray|
|Differential diagnosis||COPD, asthma, pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism|
|Prevention||Vaccines, handwashing, not smoking|
|Medication||Antibiotics, antivirals, oxygen therapy|
|Frequency||450 million (7%) per year|
|Deaths||4 million per year|
|Shortness of breath|
People with infectious pneumonia often have a productive cough, fever accompanied by shaking chills, shortness of breath, sharp or stabbing chest pain during deep breaths, and an increased rate of breathing. In elderly people, confusion may be the most prominent sign.
The typical signs and symptoms in children under five are fever, cough, and fast or difficult breathing. Fever is not very specific, as it occurs in many other common illnesses and may be absent in those with severe disease, malnutrition or in the elderly. In addition, a cough is frequently absent in children less than 2 months old. More severe signs and symptoms in children may include blue-tinged skin, unwillingness to drink, convulsions, ongoing vomiting, extremes of temperature, or a decreased level of consciousness.
Bacterial and viral cases of pneumonia are usually present with similar symptoms. Some causes are associated with classic, but non-specific, clinical characteristics. Pneumonia caused by Legionella may occur with abdominal pain, diarrhea, or confusion. Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is associated with rusty colored sputum. Pneumonia caused by Klebsiella may have bloody sputum often described as "currant jelly". Bloody sputum (known as hemoptysis) may also occur with tuberculosis, Gram-negative pneumonia, lung abscesses and more commonly acute bronchitis. Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae may occur in association with swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, joint pain, or a middle ear infection. Viral pneumonia presents more commonly with wheezing than bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia was historically divided into "typical" and "atypical" based on the belief that the presentation predicted the underlying cause. However, evidence has not supported this distinction, therefore it is no longer emphasized.
Pneumonia is due to infections caused primarily by bacteria or viruses and less commonly by fungi and parasites. Although there are over 100 strains of infectious agents identified, only a few are responsible for the majority of the cases. Mixed infections with both viruses and bacteria may occur in roughly 45% of infections in children and 15% of infections in adults. A causative agent may not be isolated in approximately half of cases despite careful testing.
The term pneumonia is sometimes more broadly applied to any condition resulting in inflammation of the lungs (caused for example by autoimmune diseases, chemical burns or drug reactions); however, this inflammation is more accurately referred to as pneumonitis.
Factors that predispose to pneumonia include smoking, immunodeficiency, alcoholism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and old age. Additional risk in children include not being breastfeed, exposure to cigarettes or air pollution, malnutrition, and poverty. The use of acid-suppressing medications – such as proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers – is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia. Approximately 10% of people who require mechanical ventilation develop ventilator associated pneumonia, and people with gastric feeding tube have an increased risk of developing of aspiration pneumonia. For people with specific variants of FER gene, the risk of death is reduced in sepsis caused by pneumonia. However, for those with TLR6 variants, the risk of getting Legionnaires' disease is increased.
Bacteria are the most-common cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), with Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated in nearly 50% of cases. Other commonly-isolated bacteria include Haemophilus influenzae in 20%, Chlamydophila pneumoniae in 13%, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in 3% of cases; Staphylococcus aureus; Moraxella catarrhalis; Legionella pneumophila; and Gram-negative bacilli. A number of drug-resistant versions of the above infections are becoming more common, including drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (DRSP) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The spreading of organisms is facilitated when risk factors are present. Alcoholism is associated with Streptococcus pneumoniae, anaerobic organisms, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis; smoking facilitates the effects of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Legionella pneumophila. Exposure to birds is associated with Chlamydia psittaci; farm animals with Coxiella burnetti; aspiration of stomach contents with anaerobic organisms; and cystic fibrosis with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococcus pneumoniae is more common in the winter, and it should be suspected in persons aspirating a large amount of anaerobic organisms.
In adults, viruses account for approximately a third and in children for about 15% of pneumonia cases. Commonly-implicated agents include rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, and parainfluenza. Herpes simplex virus rarely causes pneumonia, except in groups such as: newborns, persons with cancer, transplant recipients, and people with significant burns. People following organ transplantation or those otherwise-immunocompromised present high rates of cytomegalovirus pneumonia. Those with viral infections may be secondarily infected with the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, or Haemophilus influenzae, particularly when other health problems are present. Different viruses predominate at different periods of the year; during influenza season, for example, influenza may account for over half of all viral cases. Outbreaks of other viruses also occasionally occur, including hantaviruses and coronavirus.
Fungal pneumonia is uncommon, but occurs more commonly in individuals with weakened immune systems due to AIDS, immunosuppressive drugs, or other medical problems. It is most often caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, blastomyces, Cryptococcus neoformans, Pneumocystis jiroveci (pneumocystis pneumonia, or PCP), and Coccidioides immitis. Histoplasmosis is most common in the Mississippi River basin, and coccidioidomycosis is most common in the Southwestern United States. The number of cases has been increasing in the later half of the 20th century due to increasing travel and rates of immunosuppression in the population. For people infected with HIV/AIDS, PCP is a common opportunistic infection.
A variety of parasites can affect the lungs, including Toxoplasma gondii, Strongyloides stercoralis, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Plasmodium malariae. These organisms typically enter the body through direct contact with the skin, ingestion, or via an insect vector. Except for Paragonimus westermani, most parasites do not affect specifically the lungs but involve the lungs secondarily to other sites. Some parasites, in particular those belonging to the Ascaris and Strongyloides genera, stimulate a strong eosinophilic reaction, which may result in eosinophilic pneumonia. In other infections, such as malaria, lung involvement is due primarily to cytokine-induced systemic inflammation. In the developed world these infections are most common in people returning from travel or in immigrants. Around the world, these infections are most common in the immunodeficient.
Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia or noninfectious pneumonia is a class of diffuse lung diseases. They include diffuse alveolar damage, organizing pneumonia, nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia, desquamative interstitial pneumonia, respiratory bronchiolitis interstitial lung disease, and usual interstitial pneumonia. Lipoid pneumonia is another rare cause due to lipids entering the lung. These lipids can either be inhaled or from lipids within the body.
Pneumonia frequently starts as an upper respiratory tract infection that moves into the lower respiratory tract. It is a type of pneumonitis (lung inflammation). The normal flora of the upper airway gives protection by competing with pathogens for nutrients. In the lower airways, reflexes of the glottis, actions of complement proteins and immunoglobulins are important for protection. Microaspiration of contaminated secretions can infect the lower airways and cause pneumonia. The virulence of the organism, amount of the organisms to start an infection and body immune response against the infection all determines the progress of pneumonia.
Most bacteria enter the lungs via small aspirations of organisms residing in the throat or nose. Half of normal people have these small aspirations during sleep. While the throat always contains bacteria, potentially infectious ones reside there only at certain times and under certain conditions. A minority of types of bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Legionella pneumophila reach the lungs via contaminated airborne droplets. Bacteria can spread also via the blood. Once in the lungs, bacteria may invade the spaces between cells and between alveoli, where the macrophages and neutrophils (defensive white blood cells) attempt to inactivate the bacteria. The neutrophils also release cytokines, causing a general activation of the immune system. This leads to the fever, chills, and fatigue common in bacterial pneumonia. The neutrophils, bacteria, and fluid from surrounding blood vessels fill the alveoli, resulting in the consolidation seen on chest X-ray.
Viruses may reach the lung by a number of different routes. Respiratory syncytial virus is typically contracted when people touch contaminated objects and then they touch their eyes or nose. Other viral infections occur when contaminated airborne droplets are inhaled through the mouth or nose. Once in the upper airway, the viruses may make their way in the lungs, where they invade the cells lining the airways, alveoli, or lung parenchyma. Some viruses such as measles and herpes simplex may reach the lungs via the blood. The invasion of the lungs may lead to varying degrees of cell death. When the immune system responds to the infection, even more lung damage may occur. Primarily white blood cells, mainly mononuclear cells, generate the inflammation. As well as damaging the lungs, many viruses simultaneously affect other organs and thus disrupt other body functions. Viruses also make the body more susceptible to bacterial infections; in this way, bacterial pneumonia can occur at the same time as viral pneumonia.
Pneumonia is typically diagnosed based on a combination of physical signs and a chest X-ray. However, the underlying cause can be difficult to confirm, as there is no definitive test able to distinguish between bacterial and non-bacterial origin.
The World Health Organization has defined pneumonia in children clinically based on either a cough or difficulty breathing and a rapid respiratory rate, chest indrawing, or a decreased level of consciousness. A rapid respiratory rate is defined as greater than 60 breaths per minute in children under 2 months old, greater than 50 breaths per minute in children 2 months to 1 year old, or greater than 40 breaths per minute in children 1 to 5 years old. In children, low oxygen levels and lower chest indrawing are more sensitive than hearing chest crackles with a stethoscope or increased respiratory rate. Grunting and nasal flaring may be other useful signs in children less than five years old. Lack of wheezing is an indicator of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in children with pneumonia, but as an indicator it is not accurate enough to decide whether or not macrolide treatment should be used. The presence of chest pain in children with pneumonia doubles the probability of Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
In general, in adults, investigations are not needed in mild cases. There is a very low risk of pneumonia if all vital signs and auscultation are normal. In persons requiring hospitalization, pulse oximetry, chest radiography and blood tests – including a complete blood count, serum electrolytes, C-reactive protein level, and possibly liver function tests – are recommended. Procalcitonin may help determine the cause and support who should receive antibiotics. Antibiotics is encouraged if procalcitonin level reaches 0.25 μg/L, strongly encouraged if it reaches 0.5 μg/L, and strongly discouraged if the level is below 0.10 μg/L. For those with CRP less than 20 mg/L without convincing evidence of pneumonia, antibiotics are not recommended.
The diagnosis of influenza-like illness can be made based on the signs and symptoms; however, confirmation of an influenza infection requires testing. Thus, treatment is frequently based on the presence of influenza in the community or a rapid influenza test.
Physical examination may sometimes reveal low blood pressure, high heart rate, or low oxygen saturation. The respiratory rate may be faster than normal, and this may occur a day or two before other signs. Examination of the chest may be normal, but it may show decreased chest expansion on the affected side. Harsh breath sounds from the larger airways that are transmitted through the inflamed lung are termed bronchial breathing and are heard on auscultation with a stethoscope. Crackles (rales) may be heard over the affected area during inspiration. Percussion may be dulled over the affected lung, and increased, rather than decreased, vocal resonance distinguishes pneumonia from a pleural effusion.
A chest radiograph is frequently used in diagnosis. In people with mild disease, imaging is needed only in those with potential complications, those not having improved with treatment, or those in which the cause is uncertain. If a person is sufficiently sick to require hospitalization, a chest radiograph is recommended. Findings do not always match the severity of disease and do not reliably separate between bacterial infection and viral infection.
X-ray presentations of pneumonia may be classified as lobar pneumonia, bronchopneumonia (also known as lobular pneumonia), and interstitial pneumonia. Bacterial, community-acquired pneumonia classically show lung consolidation of one lung segmental lobe, which is known as lobar pneumonia. However, findings may vary, and other patterns are common in other types of pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia may present with bilateral opacities primarily in the bases of the lungs and on the right side. Radiographs of viral pneumonia may appear normal, appear hyper-inflated, have bilateral patchy areas, or present similar to bacterial pneumonia with lobar consolidation. Radiologic findings may not be present in the early stages of the disease, especially in the presence of dehydration, or may be difficult to be interpreted in the obese or those with a history of lung disease. Complications such as pleural effusion may also be found on chest radiographs. Laterolateral chest radiograph can increase the diagnostic accuracy of lung consolidation and pleural effusion. A CT scan can give additional information in indeterminate cases. CT scan can also provide more details in those with an unclear chest radiograph (for example occult pneumonia in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)) and is able to exclude pulmonary embolism and fungal pneumonia and detecting lung abscess in those who are not responding to treatments. However, CT scan is more expensive, has a higher dose of radiation, and cannot be done at bedside.
Lung ultrasound may also be useful in helping to make the diagnosis. Ultrasound is radiation free and can be done at bedside. However, ultrasound requires specific skills to operate the machine and interpret the findings. It may be more accurate than chest X-ray.
In patients managed in the community, determining the causative agent is not cost-effective and typically does not alter management. For people who do not respond to treatment, sputum culture should be considered, and culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis should be carried out in persons with a chronic productive cough. Microbiological evaluation is also indicated in severe pneumonia, alcoholism, asplenia, immunosuppression, HIV infection, and alcohol abuse. Although positive blood culture and pleural fluid culture definitively establish the diagnosis of the type of micro-organism involved, a positive sputum culture has to be interpreted with care for the possibility of colonisation of respiratory tract. Testing for other specific organisms may be recommended during outbreaks, for public health reasons. In those hospitalized for severe disease, both sputum and blood cultures are recommended, as well as testing the urine for antigens to Legionella and Streptococcus. Viral infections, can be confirmed via detection of either the virus or its antigens with culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), among other techniques. Mycoplasma, Legionella, Streptococcus, and Chlamydia can also be detected using PCR techniques on bronchoalveolar lavage and nasopharyngeal swab. The causative agent is determined in only 15% of cases with routine microbiological tests.
Pneumonitis refers to lung inflammation; pneumonia refers to pneumonitis, usually due to infection but sometimes non-infectious, that has the additional feature of pulmonary consolidation. Pneumonia is most commonly classified by where or how it was acquired: community-acquired, aspiration, healthcare-associated, hospital-acquired, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. It may also be classified by the area of lung affected: lobar pneumonia, bronchial pneumonia and acute interstitial pneumonia; or by the causative organism. Pneumonia in children may additionally be classified based on signs and symptoms as non-severe, severe, or very severe.
The setting in which pneumonia develops is important to treatment, as it correlates to which pathogens are likely suspects, which mechanisms are likely, which antibiotics are likely to work or fail, and which complications can be expected based on the person's health status.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is acquired in the community, outside of health care facilities. Compared with health care–associated pneumonia, it is less likely to involve multidrug-resistant bacteria. Although the latter are no longer rare in CAP, they are still less likely.
Health care–associated pneumonia (HCAP) is an infection associated with recent exposure to the health care system, including hospital, outpatient clinic, nursing home, dialysis center, chemotherapy treatment, or home care. HCAP is sometimes called MCAP (medical care–associated pneumonia).
Hospital-acquired pneumonia is acquired in a hospital, specifically, pneumonia that occurs 48 hours or more after admission, which was not incubating at the time of admission. It is likely to involve hospital-acquired infections, with higher risk of multidrug-resistant pathogens. Also, because hospital patients are often ill (which is why they are present in the hospital), accompanying disorders are an issue.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia occurs in people breathing with the help of mechanical ventilation. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is specifically defined as pneumonia that arises more than 48 to 72 hours after endotracheal intubation.
Several diseases can present with similar signs and symptoms to pneumonia, such as: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary edema, bronchiectasis, lung cancer, and pulmonary emboli. Unlike pneumonia, asthma and COPD typically present with wheezing, pulmonary edema presents with an abnormal electrocardiogram, cancer and bronchiectasis present with a cough of longer duration, and pulmonary emboli presents with acute onset sharp chest pain and shortness of breath. Mild pneumonia should be differentiated from upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Severe pneumonia should be differentiated from acute heart failure. Pulmonary infiltrates that resolved after giving mechanical ventilation should point to heart failure and atelectasis rather than pneumonia. For recurrent pneumonia, underlying lung cancer, metastasis, tuberculosis, foreign body, immunosuppression, and hypersensitivity should be sought after.
Prevention includes vaccination, environmental measures and appropriate treatment of other health problems. It is believed that, if appropriate preventive measures were instituted globally, mortality among children could be reduced by 400,000; and, if proper treatment were universally available, childhood deaths could be decreased by another 600,000.
Vaccination prevents against certain bacterial and viral pneumonias both in children and adults. Influenza vaccines are modestly effective at preventing symptoms of influenza, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends yearly influenza vaccination for every person 6 months and older. Immunizing health care workers decreases the risk of viral pneumonia among their patients.
Vaccinations against Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae have good evidence to support their use. There is strong evidence for vaccinating children under the age of 2 against Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine). Vaccinating children against Streptococcus pneumoniae has led to a decreased rate of these infections in adults, because many adults acquire infections from children. A Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine is available for adults, and has been found to decrease the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest using the pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumonia or mortality in the general adult population. The CDC recommends that young children and adults over the age of 65 receive the pneumococcal vaccine, as well as older children or younger adults who have an increased risk of getting pneumococcal disease. The pneumococcal vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of community acquired pneumonia in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but does not reduce mortality or the risk of hospitalization for people with this condition. People with COPD are suggested to have a pneumococcal vaccination. Other vaccines for which there is support for a protective effect against pneumonia include pertussis, varicella, and measles.
When influenza outbreaks occur, medications such as amantadine or rimantadine may help prevent the condition; however are associated with side effects. Zanamivir or oseltamivir decrease the chance that people who are exposed to the virus will develop symptoms; however, it is recommended that potential side effects are taken into account.
Smoking cessation and reducing indoor air pollution, such as that from cooking indoors with wood or dung, are both recommended. Smoking appears to be the single biggest risk factor for pneumococcal pneumonia in otherwise-healthy adults. Hand hygiene and coughing into one's sleeve may also be effective preventative measures. Wearing surgical masks by the sick may also prevent illness.
Appropriately treating underlying illnesses (such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, and malnutrition) can decrease the risk of pneumonia. In children less than 6 months of age, exclusive breast feeding reduces both the risk and severity of disease. In those with HIV/AIDS and a CD4 count of less than 200 cells/uL the antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole decreases the risk of Pneumocystis pneumonia and is also useful for prevention in those that are immunocomprised but do not have HIV.
Testing pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus and Chlamydia trachomatis, and administering antibiotic treatment, if needed, reduces rates of pneumonia in infants; preventive measures for HIV transmission from mother to child may also be efficient. Suctioning the mouth and throat of infants with meconium-stained amniotic fluid has not been found to reduce the rate of aspiration pneumonia and may cause potential harm, thus this practice is not recommended in the majority of situations. In the frail elderly good oral health care may lower the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Zinc supplementation in children 2 months to five years old appears to reduce rates of pneumonia.
For people with low levels of vitamin C in their diet or blood, taking vitamin C supplements may be suggested to decrease the risk of pneumonia, although there is no strong evidence of benefit. There is insufficient evidence to recommend that the general population take vitamin C to prevent pneumonia.
For adults and children in the hospital who require a respirator, there is no strong evidence indicating a difference between heat and moisture exchangers and heated humidifiers for preventing pneumonia. There is no good evidence that one approach to mouth care is better than others in preventing nursing home acquired pneumonia.
Oral antibiotics, rest, simple analgesics, and fluids usually suffice for complete resolution. However, those with other medical conditions, the elderly, or those with significant trouble breathing may require more advanced care. If the symptoms worsen, the pneumonia does not improve with home treatment, or complications occur, hospitalization may be required. Worldwide, approximately 7–13% of cases in children result in hospitalization, whereas in the developed world between 22 and 42% of adults with community-acquired pneumonia are admitted. The CURB-65 score is useful for determining the need for admission in adults. If the score is 0 or 1, people can typically be managed at home; if it is 2, a short hospital stay or close follow-up is needed; if it is 3–5, hospitalization is recommended. In children those with respiratory distress or oxygen saturations of less than 90% should be hospitalized. The utility of chest physiotherapy in pneumonia has not yet been determined. Non-invasive ventilation may be beneficial in those admitted to the intensive care unit. Over-the-counter cough medicine has not been found to be effective nor has the use of zinc in children. There is insufficient evidence for mucolytics. There is no strong evidence to recommend that children who have non-measles related pneumonia take Vitamin A supplements. For those with sepsis, 30 ml/kg of crystalloid should be infused to correct hypotension.
Antibiotics improve outcomes in those with bacterial pneumonia. First dose of antibiotics should be given as soon as possible. Increased use of antibiotics, however, may lead to the development of antimicrobial resistant strains of bacteria. Antibiotic choice depends initially on the characteristics of the person affected, such as age, underlying health, and the location the infection was acquired. Antibiotic use is also associated with side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, taste distortion, or headaches. In the UK, treatment before culture results with amoxicillin is recommended as the first line for community-acquired pneumonia, with doxycycline or clarithromycin as alternatives. In North America, where the "atypical" forms of community-acquired pneumonia are more common, macrolides (such as azithromycin or erythromycin), and doxycycline have displaced amoxicillin as first-line outpatient treatment in adults. In children with mild or moderate symptoms, amoxicillin taken by mouth remains the first line. The use of fluoroquinolones in uncomplicated cases is discouraged due to concerns about side-effects and generating resistance in light of there being no greater clinical benefit.
For those who require hospitalization and caught their pneumonia in the community the use of a β-lactam such as cephazolin plus macrolide such as azithromycin or a fluoroquinolones is recommended.
The duration of treatment has traditionally been seven to ten days, but increasing evidence suggests that shorter courses (3–5 days) may be effective for certain types of pneumonia and may reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. For pneumonia that is associated with a ventilator caused by non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli (NF-GNB), a shorter course of antibiotics increases the risk of that pneumonia will return. Recommendations for hospital-acquired pneumonia include third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, carbapenems, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and vancomycin. These antibiotics are often given intravenously and used in combination. In those treated in hospital, more than 90% improve with the initial antibiotics. For people with ventilator-acquired pneumonia, the choice of antibiotic therapy will depend on the person's risk of being infected with a strain of bacteria that is multi-drug resistant. Once clinically stable, intravenous antibiotics should be swithced to oral antibiotics. For those with Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Legionella infections, prolonged antibiotics may be beneficial.
The addition of corticosteroids to standard antibiotic treatment appears to improve outcomes, reducing mortality and morbidity for adults with severe community acquired pneumonia, and reducing morbidity for adults and children with non-severe community acquired pneumonia. There are adverse effects associated with the use of corticosteroids such as high blood sugar and superinfection. There is some evidence that adding corticosteroids to the standard PCP pneumonia treatment may be beneficial for people who are infected with HIV.
The use of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) along with antibiotics does not appear to reduce mortality and routine use for treating pneumonia is not supported by evidence.
Neuraminidase inhibitors may be used to treat viral pneumonia caused by influenza viruses (influenza A and influenza B). No specific antiviral medications are recommended for other types of community acquired viral pneumonias including SARS coronavirus, adenovirus, hantavirus, and parainfluenza virus. Influenza A may be treated with rimantadine or amantadine, while influenza A or B may be treated with oseltamivir, zanamivir or peramivir. These are of most benefit if they are started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Many strains of H5N1 influenza A, also known as avian influenza or "bird flu", have shown resistance to rimantadine and amantadine. The use of antibiotics in viral pneumonia is recommended by some experts, as it is impossible to rule out a complicating bacterial infection. The British Thoracic Society recommends that antibiotics be withheld in those with mild disease. The use of corticosteroids is controversial.
In general, aspiration pneumonitis is treated conservatively with antibiotics indicated only for aspiration pneumonia. The choice of antibiotic will depend on several factors, including the suspected causative organism and whether pneumonia was acquired in the community or developed in a hospital setting. Common options include clindamycin, a combination of a beta-lactam antibiotic and metronidazole, or an aminoglycoside. Corticosteroids are sometimes used in aspiration pneumonia, but there is limited evidence to support their effectiveness.
With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia will stabilize in 3–6 days. It often takes a few weeks before most symptoms resolve. X-ray finding typically clear within four weeks and mortality is low (less than 1%). In the elderly or people with other lung problems, recovery may take more than 12 weeks. In persons requiring hospitalization, mortality may be as high as 10%, and in those requiring intensive care it may reach 30–50%. Pneumonia is the most common hospital-acquired infection that causes death. Before the advent of antibiotics, mortality was typically 30% in those that were hospitalized. However, for those whose lung condition deteriorates within 72 hours, the problem is usually due to sepsis. If pneumonia deteriorates after 72 hours, it could be due to nosocomial infection or excerbation of other underlying co-morbidities. About 10% of those discharged from hospital are readmitted due to underlying co-morbidities such as heart, lung, or neurology disorders, or due to new onset of pneumonia.
Complications may occur in particular in the elderly and those with underlying health problems. This may include, among others: empyema, lung abscess, bronchiolitis obliterans, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, and worsening of underlying health problems.
In pneumonia, a collection of fluid may form in the space that surrounds the lung. Occasionally, microorganisms will infect this fluid, causing an empyema. To distinguish an empyema from the more common simple parapneumonic effusion, the fluid may be collected with a needle (thoracentesis), and examined. If this shows evidence of empyema, complete drainage of the fluid is necessary, often requiring a drainage catheter. In severe cases of empyema, surgery may be needed. If the infected fluid is not drained, the infection may persist, because antibiotics do not penetrate well into the pleural cavity. If the fluid is sterile, it must be drained only if it is causing symptoms or remains unresolved.
In rare circumstances, bacteria in the lung will form a pocket of infected fluid called a lung abscess. Lung abscesses can usually be seen with a chest X-ray but frequently require a chest CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Abscesses typically occur in aspiration pneumonia, and often contain several types of bacteria. Long-term antibiotics are usually adequate to treat a lung abscess, but sometimes the abscess must be drained by a surgeon or radiologist.
Pneumonia can cause respiratory failure by triggering acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which results from a combination of infection and inflammatory response. The lungs quickly fill with fluid and become stiff. This stiffness, combined with severe difficulties extracting oxygen due to the alveolar fluid, may require long periods of mechanical ventilation for survival. Other causes of circulatory failure are hypoxemia, inflammation, and increased coagulability.
Sepsis is a potential complication of pneumonia but occurs usually in people with poor immunity or hyposplenism. The organisms most commonly involved are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Other causes of the symptoms should be considered such as a myocardial infarction or a pulmonary embolism.
Pneumonia is a common illness affecting approximately 450 million people a year and occurring in all parts of the world. It is a major cause of death among all age groups resulting in 4 million deaths (7% of the world's total death) yearly. Rates are greatest in children less than five, and adults older than 75 years. It occurs about five times more frequently in the developing world than in the developed world. Viral pneumonia accounts for about 200 million cases. In the United States, as of 2009, pneumonia is the 8th leading cause of death.
In 2008, pneumonia occurred in approximately 156 million children (151 million in the developing world and 5 million in the developed world). In 2010, it resulted in 1.3 million deaths, or 18% of all deaths in those under five years, of which 95% occurred in the developing world. Countries with the greatest burden of disease include India (43 million), China (21 million) and Pakistan (10 million). It is the leading cause of death among children in low income countries. Many of these deaths occur in the newborn period. The World Health Organization estimates that one in three newborn infant deaths is due to pneumonia. Approximately half of these deaths can be prevented, as they are caused by the bacteria for which an effective vaccine is available. In 2011, pneumonia was the most common reason for admission to the hospital after an emergency department visit in the U.S. for infants and children.
Pneumonia has been a common disease throughout human history. The word is from Greek πνεύμων (pneúmōn) meaning "lung". The symptoms were described by Hippocrates (c. 460–370 BC): "Peripneumonia, and pleuritic affections, are to be thus observed: If the fever be acute, and if there be pains on either side, or in both, and if expiration be if cough be present, and the sputa expectorated be of a blond or livid color, or likewise thin, frothy, and florid, or having any other character different from the common... When pneumonia is at its height, the case is beyond remedy if he is not purged, and it is bad if he has dyspnoea, and urine that is thin and acrid, and if sweats come out about the neck and head, for such sweats are bad, as proceeding from the suffocation, rales, and the violence of the disease which is obtaining the upper hand." However, Hippocrates referred to pneumonia as a disease "named by the ancients". He also reported the results of surgical drainage of empyemas. Maimonides (1135–1204 AD) observed: "The basic symptoms that occur in pneumonia and that are never lacking are as follows: acute fever, sticking pleuritic pain in the side, short rapid breaths, serrated pulse and cough." This clinical description is quite similar to those found in modern textbooks, and it reflected the extent of medical knowledge through the Middle Ages into the 19th century.
Edwin Klebs was the first to observe bacteria in the airways of persons having died of pneumonia in 1875. Initial work identifying the two common bacterial causes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Klebsiella pneumoniae, was performed by Carl Friedländer and Albert Fraenkel in 1882 and 1884, respectively. Friedländer's initial work introduced the Gram stain, a fundamental laboratory test still used today to identify and categorize bacteria. Christian Gram's paper describing the procedure in 1884 helped to differentiate the two bacteria, and showed that pneumonia could be caused by more than one microorganism.
Sir William Osler, known as "the father of modern medicine", appreciated the death and disability caused by pneumonia, describing it as the "captain of the men of death" in 1918, as it had overtaken tuberculosis as one of the leading causes of death in this time. This phrase was originally coined by John Bunyan in reference to "consumption" (tuberculosis). Osler also described pneumonia as "the old man's friend" as death was often quick and painless when there were much slower and more painful ways to die.
Several developments in the 1900s improved the outcome for those with pneumonia. With the advent of penicillin and other antibiotics, modern surgical techniques, and intensive care in the 20th century, mortality from pneumonia, which had approached 30%, dropped precipitously in the developed world. Vaccination of infants against Haemophilus influenzae type B began in 1988 and led to a dramatic decline in cases shortly thereafter. Vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae in adults began in 1977, and in children in 2000, resulting in a similar decline.
Due to the relatively low awareness of the disease, 12 November was declared as the annual World Pneumonia Day, a day for concerned citizens and policy makers to take action against the disease, in 2009.
The global economic cost of community-acquired pneumonia has been estimated at $17 billion annually. Other estimates are considerably higher. In 2012 the estimated aggregate costs of treating pneumonia in the United States were $20 billion; the median cost of a single pneumonia-related hospitalization is over $15,000. According to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, average 2012 hospital charges for inpatient treatment of uncomplicated pneumonia in the U.S. were $24,549 and ranged as high as $124,000. The average cost of an emergency room consult for pneumonia was $943 and the average cost for medication was $66. Aggregate annual costs of treating pneumonia in Europe have been estimated at €10 billion.
Aspiration pneumonia is a type of lung infection that is due to a relatively large amount of material from the stomach or mouth entering the lungs. Signs and symptoms often include fever and cough of relatively rapid onset. Complications may include lung abscess. Some include chemical pneumonitis as a subtype, which occurs from acidic but non-infectious stomach contents entering the lungs.Infection can be due to a variety of bacteria. Risk factors include decreased level of consciousness, problems with swallowing, alcoholism, tube feeding, and poor oral health. Diagnosis is typically based on the presenting history, symptoms, chest X-ray, and sputum culture. Differentiating from other types of pneumonia may be difficult.Treatment is typically with antibiotics such as clindamycin, meropenem, ampicillin/sulbactam, or moxifloxacin. For those with only chemical pneumonitis, antibiotics are not typically required. Among people hospitalized with pneumonia, about 10% are due to aspiration. It occurs more often in older people, especially those in nursing homes. Both sexes are equally affected.Atypical pneumonia
Atypical pneumonia, also known as walking pneumonia, is the type of pneumonia not caused by one of the pathogens most commonly associated with the disease. Its clinical presentation contrasts to that of "typical" pneumonia. A variety of microorganisms can cause it. When it develops independently from another disease it is called primary atypical pneumonia (PAP).
The term was introduced in the 1930s and was contrasted with the bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, at that time the best known and most commonly occurring form of pneumonia. The distinction was historically considered important, as it differentiated those more likely to present with "typical" respiratory symptoms and lobar pneumonia from those more likely to present with "atypical" generalized symptoms (such as fever, headache, sweating and myalgia) and bronchopneumonia.Bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by bacterial infection.Chickenpox
Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious disease caused by the initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). The disease results in a characteristic skin rash that forms small, itchy blisters, which eventually scab over. It usually starts on the chest, back, and face then spreads to the rest of the body. Other symptoms may include fever, tiredness, and headaches. Symptoms usually last five to seven days. Complications may occasionally include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, and bacterial skin infections. The disease is often more severe in adults than in children. Symptoms begin 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus.Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. It may be spread from one to two days before the rash appears until all lesions have crusted over. It may also spread through contact with the blisters. Those with shingles may spread chickenpox to those who are not immune through contact with the blisters. The disease can usually be diagnosed based on the presenting symptom; however, in unusual cases it may be confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of the blister fluid or scabs. Testing for antibodies may be done to determine if a person is or is not immune. People usually only get chickenpox once. Although reinfections by the virus occur, these reinfections usually do not cause any symptoms.Since its introduction in 1995, the varicella vaccine has resulted in a decrease in the number of cases and complications from the disease. It protects about 70 to 90 percent of people from disease with a greater benefit for severe disease. Routine immunization of children is recommended in many countries. Immunization within three days of exposure may improve outcomes in children. Treatment of those infected may include calamine lotion to help with itching, keeping the fingernails short to decrease injury from scratching, and the use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) to help with fevers. For those at increased risk of complications, antiviral medication such as aciclovir are recommended.Chickenpox occurs in all parts of the world. In 2013 there were 140 million cases of chickenpox and herpes zoster worldwide. Before routine immunization the number of cases occurring each year was similar to the number of people born. Since immunization the number of infections in the United States has decreased nearly 90%. In 2015 chickenpox resulted in 6,400 deaths globally – down from 8,900 in 1990. Death occurs in about 1 per 60,000 cases. Chickenpox was not separated from smallpox until the late 19th century. In 1888 its connection to shingles was determined. The first documented use of the term chicken pox was in 1658. Various explanations have been suggested for the use of "chicken" in the name, one being the relative mildness of the disease.Chlamydia infection
Chlamydia infection, often simply known as chlamydia, is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Most people who are infected have no symptoms. When symptoms do develop this can take a few weeks following infection to occur. Symptoms in women may include vaginal discharge or burning with urination. Symptoms in men may include discharge from the penis, burning with urination, or pain and swelling of one or both testicles. The infection can spread to the upper genital tract in women causing pelvic inflammatory disease which may result in future infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Repeated infections of the eyes that go without treatment can result in trachoma, a common cause of blindness in the developing world.Chlamydia can be spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. The eye infections may also be spread by personal contact, flies, and contaminated towels in areas with poor sanitation. Chlamydia trachomatis only occurs in humans. Diagnosis is often by screening which is recommended yearly in sexually active women under the age of twenty-five, others at higher risk, and at the first prenatal visit. Testing can be done on the urine or a swab of the cervix, vagina, or urethra. Rectal or mouth swabs are required to diagnose infections in those areas.Prevention is by not having sex, the use of condoms, or having sex with only one other person, who is not infected. Chlamydia can be cured by antibiotics with typically either azithromycin or doxycycline being used. Erythromycin or azithromycin is recommended in babies and during pregnancy. Sexual partners should also be treated and the infected people advised not to have sex for seven days and until symptom free. Gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV should be tested for in those who have been infected. Following treatment people should be tested again after three months.Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, affecting about 4.2% of women and 2.7% of men worldwide. In 2015 about 61 million new cases occurred globally. In the United States about 1.4 million cases were reported in 2014. Infections are most common among those between the ages of 15 and 25 and are more common in women than men. In 2015 infections resulted in about 200 deaths. The word "chlamydia" is from the Greek, χλαμύδα meaning "cloak".Community-acquired pneumonia
Community-acquired pneumonia refers to pneumonia (any of several lung diseases) contracted by a person with little contact with the healthcare system. The chief difference between hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and CAP is that patients with HAP live in long-term care facilities or have recently visited a hospital. CAP is common, affecting people of all ages, and its symptoms occur as a result of oxygen-absorbing areas of the lung (alveoli) filling with fluid. This inhibits lung function, causing dyspnea, fever, chest pains and cough.
CAP, the most common type of pneumonia, is a leading cause of illness and death worldwide. Its causes include bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. CAP is diagnosed by assessing symptoms, making a physical examination and on x-ray. Other tests, such as sputum examination, supplement chest x-rays. Patients with CAP sometimes require hospitalization, and it is treated primarily with antibiotics, antipyretics and cough medicine. Some forms of CAP can be prevented by vaccination and by abstaining from tobacco products.Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia
Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), also known as bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP), is an inflammation of the bronchioles (bronchiolitis and surrounding tissue in the lungs). It should not be confused with bronchiolitis obliterans, a form of non-infectious pneumonia.
It is often a complication of an existing chronic inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis, or it can be a side effect of certain medications such as amiodarone. COP was first described by Gary Epler in 1985.The clinical features and radiological imaging resemble infectious pneumonia. However, diagnosis is suspected after there is no response to multiple antibiotics, and blood and sputum cultures are negative for organisms.Eosinophilic pneumonia
Eosinophilic pneumonia (EP) is a disease in which an eosinophil, a type of white blood cell, accumulates in the lung. These cells cause disruption of the normal air spaces (alveoli) where oxygen is extracted from the atmosphere. Several different kinds of eosinophilic pneumonia exist and can occur in any age group. The most common symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing, and sweating at night. EP is diagnosed by a combination of characteristic symptoms, findings on a physical examination by a health provider, and the results of blood tests and x-rays. Prognosis is excellent once most EP is recognized and treatment with corticosteroids is begun.
EP is infectious. Each episode is brought on by an infection- viral or bacterial, which are both contagious. It spreads through sneezes or coughs, but it spreads slowly. If you are infected, you could be contagious for up to 10 days before initial symptoms are shown. Researchers think it may take a lot of close contact with an infected person for you to develop the illness.Hospital-acquired pneumonia
Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) or nosocomial pneumonia refers to any pneumonia contracted by a patient in a hospital at least 48–72 hours after being admitted. It is thus distinguished from community-acquired pneumonia. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection, rather than a virus.HAP is the second most common nosocomial infection (after urinary tract infections) and accounts for 15–20% of the total. It is the most common cause of death among nosocomial infections and is the primary cause of death in intensive care units.HAP typically lengthens a hospital stay by 1–2 weeks.Interstitial lung disease
Interstitial lung disease (ILD), or diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), is a group of lung diseases affecting the interstitium (the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lungs). It concerns alveolar epithelium, pulmonary capillary endothelium, basement membrane, and perivascular and perilymphatic tissues. It may occur when an injury to the lungs triggers an abnormal healing response. Ordinarily, the body generates just the right amount of tissue to repair damage, but in interstitial lung disease, the repair process goes awry and the tissue around the air sacs (alveoli) becomes scarred and thickened. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. The term ILD is used to distinguish these diseases from obstructive airways diseases.
There are specific types in children. The acronym chILD is used for this group of diseases and is derived from the English name, Children’s Interstitial Lung Diseases – chILD.Prolonged ILD may result in pulmonary fibrosis, but this is not always the case. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is interstitial lung disease for which no obvious cause can be identified (idiopathic) and is associated with typical findings both radiographic (basal and pleural-based fibrosis with honeycombing) and pathologic (temporally and spatially heterogeneous fibrosis, histopathologic honeycombing, and fibroblastic foci).
In 2015, interstitial lung disease, together with pulmonary sarcoidosis, affected 1.9 million people. They resulted in 122,000 deaths.Klebsiella pneumonia
Klebsiella pneumonia (KP) is a form of bacterial pneumonia associated with Klebsiella pneumoniae. It is typically due to aspiration and alcoholism may be a risk factor, though it is also commonly implicated in hospital-acquired urinary tract infections, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) individualsLipid pneumonia
Lipid pneumonia is a specific form of lung inflammation (pneumonia) that develops when lipids enter the bronchial tree. The disorder is sometimes called cholesterol pneumonia in cases where that lipid is a factor.Lobar pneumonia
Lobar pneumonia is a form of pneumonia characterized by inflammatory exudate within the intra-alveolar space resulting in consolidation that affects a large and continuous area of the lobe of a lung.It is one of the two anatomic classifications of pneumonia (the other being bronchopneumonia).Measles
Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Initial symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40 °C (104.0 °F), cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes. Small white spots known as Koplik's spots may form inside the mouth two or three days after the start of symptoms. A red, flat rash which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body typically begins three to five days after the start of symptoms. Common complications include diarrhea (in 8% of cases), middle ear infection (7%), and pneumonia (6%). Less commonly seizures, blindness, or inflammation of the brain may occur. Other names include morbilli, rubeola, red measles, and English measles. Rubella, which is sometimes called German measles, and roseola are different diseases caused by unrelated viruses.Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of infected people. It may also be spread through contact with saliva or nasal secretions. Nine out of ten people who are not immune and share living space with an infected person will be infected. People are infectious to others from four days before to four days after the start of the rash. Most people do not get the disease more than once. Testing for the measles virus in suspected cases is important for public health efforts.The measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease, and is often delivered in combination with other vaccines. Vaccination resulted in a 75% decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2013, with about 85% of children worldwide being currently vaccinated. Once a person has become infected, no specific treatment is available, but supportive care may improve outcomes. This may include oral rehydration solution (slightly sweet and salty fluids), healthy food, and medications to control the fever. Antibiotics may be used if a secondary bacterial infection such as bacterial pneumonia occurs. Vitamin A supplementation is also recommended in the developing world.Measles affects about 20 million people a year, primarily in the developing areas of Africa and Asia. It is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000. Rates of disease and deaths, however, increased in 2017 due to a decrease in immunization. The risk of death among those infected is about 0.2%, but may be up to 10% in people with malnutrition. Most of those who die from the infection are less than five years old. Measles is not believed to affect other animals.Mycoplasma pneumonia
Mycoplasma pneumonia (also known as "walking pneumonia" because it can spread bilaterally (“walk”) from one lung to the other) is a form of bacterial pneumonia caused by the bacterial species Mycoplasma pneumoniae.Pathogenic bacteria
Pathogenic bacteria are bacteria that can cause disease. This article deals with human pathogenic bacteria. Although most bacteria are harmless or often beneficial, some are pathogenic, with the number of species estimated as fewer than a hundred that are seen to cause infectious diseases in humans. By contrast, several thousand species exist in the human digestive system.
One of the bacterial diseases with the highest disease burden is tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which kills about 2 million people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Pathogenic bacteria contribute to other globally important diseases, such as pneumonia, which can be caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus and Pseudomonas, and foodborne illnesses, which can be caused by bacteria such as Shigella, Campylobacter, and Salmonella. Pathogenic bacteria also cause infections such as tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, syphilis, and leprosy. Pathogenic bacteria are also the cause of high infant mortality rates in developing countries.Koch's postulates are the standard to establish a causative relationship between a microbe and a disease.Pneumocystis pneumonia
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is a form of pneumonia that is caused by the yeast-like fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. It is also known as PJP, for Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia.Pneumocystis pneumonia is not commonly found in the lungs of healthy people, but being a source of opportunistic infection, it can cause a lung infection in people with a weak immune system. PCP is especially seen in people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS cases, and the use of medications that suppress the immune system.Streptococcus pneumoniae
Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a Gram-positive, alpha-hemolytic (under aerobic conditions) or beta-hemolytic (under anaerobic conditions), facultative anaerobic member of the genus Streptococcus. They are usually found in pairs (diplococci) and do not form spores and are nonmotile. As a significant human pathogenic bacterium S. pneumoniae was recognized as a major cause of pneumonia in the late 19th century, and is the subject of many humoral immunity studies.
S. pneumoniae resides asymptomatically in healthy carriers typically colonizing the respiratory tract, sinuses, and nasal cavity. However, in susceptible individuals with weaker immune systems, such as the elderly and young children, the bacterium may become pathogenic and spread to other locations to cause disease. It spreads by direct person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets and by autoinoculation in persons carrying the bacteria in their upper respiratory tracts. It can be a cause of neonatal infections.S. pneumoniae is the main cause of community acquired pneumonia and meningitis in children and the elderly, and of septicemia in those infected with HIV. The organism also causes many types of pneumococcal infections other than pneumonia. These invasive pneumococcal diseases include bronchitis, rhinitis, acute sinusitis, otitis media, conjunctivitis, meningitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, cellulitis, and brain abscess.S. pneumoniae can be differentiated from the viridans streptococci, some of which are also alpha-hemolytic, using an optochin test, as S. pneumoniae is optochin-sensitive. S. pneumoniae can also be distinguished based on its sensitivity to lysis by bile, the so-called "bile solubility test". The encapsulated, Gram-positive, coccoid bacteria have a distinctive morphology on Gram stain, lancet-shaped diplococci. They have a polysaccharide capsule that acts as a virulence factor for the organism; more than 90 different serotypes are known, and these types differ in virulence, prevalence, and extent of drug resistance.Viral pneumonia
Viral pneumonia is a pneumonia caused by a virus.
Viruses are one of the two major causes of pneumonia, the other being bacteria; less common causes are fungi and parasites. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children, while in adults bacteria are a more common cause.