ASM Microbe
ASM Microbe
September 23, 2015
1 min read

S. pneumoniae major cause of severe pneumonia in children

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SAN DIEGO — Severe pneumonia in pediatric patients was caused most commonly by Streptococcus pneumoniae, metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza A virus in developing countries, according to data presented at ICAAC 2015.

“Pneumonia is a leading cause of death in children; however, causes of pneumonia in children in developing countries are poorly known,” researcher Thomas Bénet, MD, of the Hôpital Edouard Herriot, France, said in a news release. “In an epidemiologic study done on three continents, almost half of pneumonia in children under 5 years of age were attributable to S. pneumoniae.”

The study researchers analyzed children admitted to a hospital in Mali between July 2011 and December 2012. Patients were classified as children aged younger than 5 years with radiologically confirmed pneumonia (n = 118) or hospitalized children without respiratory symptoms (n = 98). Respiratory samples were collected to identify the types of viruses and bacteria present in children with pneumonia.

The researchers said patients with pneumonia experienced different symptoms and clinical signs at admission, but not in relation to demographic data of medical history. Using multivariate analysis, Bénet and colleagues said severe pneumonia was most commonly caused by S. pneumoniae (adjusted OR = 3.4; 95% CI, 1.6-7), metapneumovirus (aOR = 17.2; 95% CI, 2-151.4), respiratory syncytial virus (aOR = 7.4; 95% CI, 2.3-23.3) and influenza A virus (aOR = 10.7; 95% CI, 1-112.2). Overall, they said, 41.6% (95% CI, 35.1%-47.4%) of pneumonia cases might be attributable to S. pneumoniae.

“Increased vaccination coverage against S. pneumoniae, as well as development of a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, would reduce substantially the burden of pneumonia in developing countries,” Bénet said. – by David Costill


Bénet T, et al. Etiology and Factors Associated with Severe Pneumonia Among Children Under 5 Years of Age in Mali: A Case-control Pilot Study. Presented at: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Sept. 17-21, 2015; San Diego. 

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.