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Viral respiratory infections: a cause of community-acquired pneumonia or a predisposing factor?

PMID: 32068577 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.1097/mcp.0000000000000666 (read at publisher's website )

Forest W Arnold, Joshua L Fuqua,

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:A cause for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is only identified in ∼50% of cases. Nasopharyngeal PCR panels contain more viruses than previously. The problem then becomes determining the relevance of the organisms identified rather than figuring out which virus is present. This review addresses how to distinguish between viral CAP and bacterial CAP, how viral CAP predisposes to bacterial CAP and some novel antiviral treatment being conducted. RECENT FINDINGS:The pneumonia severity index has been studied in patients with viral CAP. There are new studies using biomarkers to help determine when antimicrobial treatment is needed in CAP patients, and there is still no consensus. Newer devices are being invented in an effort to separate upper from lower respiratory organisms to make test results more relevant. Several outcome studies in patients with viral CAP are reviewed. SUMMARY:In addition to clinical correlation, using biomarkers can be useful to distinguish viral from bacterial CAP. Outcomes in patients with a co-infection are generally worse as a viral infection may predispose someone to a bacterial pneumonia. Influenza CAP treatment may be initially accompanied with antimicrobials until a patient's diagnosis is clear (∼48-72 h). Future research is being conducted for antiviral treatment more than for influenza.

Curr Opin Pulm Med (Current opinion in pulmonary medicine)
[2020, 26(3):208-214]

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