No actual data are available on the epidemiology and morbidity of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) in youths and children in Vienna, Austria.
The objective was to determine the epidemiology of CAP and morbidity of children hospitalized due to CAP in a tertiary care facility.
During three winter seasons youths and children hospitalized due to CAP were enrolled. Testing for viral and bacterial pathogens of pneumonia was performed in a routine clinical setting. Blood cultures were performed; respiratory viruses, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae were searched for by an established Real Time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel. Clinical signs and indices of inflammation were documented.
Out of 279 children and youths with CAP a causative agent could be detected in 190 (68 %). Viruses and bacteria were diagnosed in 107 (57 %) and 58 patients (30 %), respectively. Co-infection was found in 20 patients (10 %), Mycoplasma pneumoniae or Clamydia pneumoniae in 16 cases (8 %).
In seven patients blood cultures were positive. C-reactive protein (CRP) was significantly higher in children with positive Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen (SPAG) than with viral infection and/or co-infection. Clinical parameters showed no statistically significant differences. C. pneumoniae and M. pneumoniae were only diagnosed in children and youths with 5 years and older.
Testing for pathogens in CAP in clinical routine achieves a high recovery rate. Blood cultures are rarely helpful, but the molecular testing for viruses seemed to be helpful to establish the diagnosis.