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ABSTRACT: Atypical organisms such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila are implicated in up to 40 percent of cases of community-acquired pneumonia. Antibiotic treatment is empiric and includes coverage for both typical and atypical organisms. Doxycycline, a fluoroquinolone with enhanced activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae, or a macrolide is appropriate for outpatient treatment of immunocompetent adult patients. Hospitalized adults should be treated with cefotaxime or ceftriaxone plus a macrolide, or with a fluoroquinolone alone. The same agents can be used in adult patients in intensive care units, although fluoroquinolone monotherapy is not recommended; ampicillin-sulbactam or piperacillin-tazobactam can be used instead of cefotaxime or ceftriaxone. Outpatient treatment of children two months to five years of age consists of high-dose amoxicillin given for seven to 10 days. A single dose of ceftriaxone can be used in infants when the first dose of antibiotic is likely to be delayed or not absorbed. Older children can be treated with a macrolide. Hospitalized children should be treated with a macrolide plus a beta-lactam inhibitor. In a bioterrorist attack, pulmonary illness may result from the organisms that cause anthrax, plague, or tularemia. Sudden acute respiratory syndrome begins with a flu-like illness, followed two to seven days later by cough, dyspnea and, in some instances, acute respiratory distress.
ABSTRACT: Community-acquired pneumonia is one of the most common serious infections in children, with an annual incidence of 34 to 40 cases per 1,000 children in Europe and North America. When diagnosing community-acquired pneumonia, physicians should rely mainly on the patient's history and physical examination, supplemented by judicious use of chest radiographs and laboratory tests as needed. The child's age is important in making the diagnosis. Pneumonia in neonates younger than three weeks of age most often is caused by an infection obtained from the mother at birth. Streptococcus pneumoniae and viruses are the most common causes in infants three weeks to three months of age. Viruses are the most frequent cause of pneumonia in preschool-aged children; Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterial pathogen. Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae often are the etiologic agents in children older than five years and in adolescents. In very young children who appear toxic, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are needed. The symptoms in outpatients who present with community-acquired pneumonia can help determine the treatment. Knowing the age-specific causes of bacterial pneumonia will help guide antibiotic therapy. Childhood immunization has helped decrease the incidence of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type B infection, and the newly introduced heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine may do the same for Streptococcus pneumoniae infections.
ABSTRACT: Patients with community-acquired pneumonia often present with cough, fever, chills, fatigue, dyspnea, rigors, and pleuritic chest pain. When a patient presents with suspected community-acquired pneumonia, the physician should first assess the need for hospitalization using a mortality prediction tool, such as the Pneumonia Severity Index, combined with clinical judgment. Consensus guidelines from several organizations recommend empiric therapy with macrolides, fluoroquinolones, or doxycycline. Patients who are hospitalized should be switched from parenteral antibiotics to oral antibiotics after their symptoms improve, they are afebrile, and they are able to tolerate oral medications. Clinical pathways are important tools to improve care and maximize cost-effectiveness in hospitalized patients.
Common Infections in Older Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Infectious diseases account for one third of all deaths in people 65 years and older. Early detection is more difficult in the elderly because the typical signs and symptoms, such as fever and leukocytosis, are frequently absent. A change in mental status or decline in function may be the only presenting problem in an older patient with an infection. An estimated 90 percent of deaths resulting from pneumonia occur in people 65 years and older. Mortality resulting from influenza also occurs primarily in the elderly. Urinary tract infections are the most common cause of bacteremia in older adults. Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs frequently in the elderly; however, antibiotic treatment does not appear to be efficacious. The recent rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus) is a particular problem in the elderly because they are exposed to infections at higher rates in hospital and institutional settings. Treatment of colonization and active infection is problematic; strict adherence to hygiene practices is necessary to prevent the spread of resistant organisms.
Community-Acquired Pneumonia - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia - Point-of-Care Guides
Predicting Pneumonia in Adults with Respiratory Illness - Point-of-Care Guides
ABSTRACT: Community-acquired pneumonia is diagnosed by clinical features (e.g., cough, fever, pleuritic chest pain) and by lung imaging, usually an infiltrate seen on chest radiography. Initial evaluation should determine the need for hospitalization versus outpatient management using validated mortality or severity prediction scores. Selected diagnostic laboratory testing, such as sputum and blood cultures, is indicated for inpatients with severe illness but is rarely useful for outpatients. Initial outpatient therapy should include a macrolide or doxycycline. For outpatients with comorbidities or who have used antibiotics within the previous three months, a respiratory fluoroquinolone (levofloxacin, gemifloxacin, or moxifloxacin), or an oral beta-lactam antibiotic plus a macrolide should be used. Inpatients not admitted to an intensive care unit should receive a respiratory fluoroquinolone, or a beta-lactam antibiotic plus a macrolide. Patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia or who are admitted to the intensive care unit should be treated with a beta-lactam antibiotic, plus azithromycin or a respiratory fluoroquinolone. Those with risk factors for Pseudomonas should be treated with a beta-lactam antibiotic (piperacillin/tazobactam, imipenem/cilastatin, meropenem, doripenem, or cefepime), plus an aminoglycoside and azithromycin or an antipseudomonal fluoroquinolone (levofloxacin or ciprofloxacin). Those with risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus should be given vancomycin or linezolid. Hospitalized patients may be switched from intravenous to oral antibiotics after they have clinical improvement and are able to tolerate oral medications, typically in the first three days. Adherence to the Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society guidelines for the management of community-acquired pneumonia has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Physicians should promote pneumococcal and influenza vaccination as a means to prevent community-acquired pneumonia and pneumococcal bacteremia.