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Clinical features of community-acquired pneumonia treated at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Pneumonia is a serious illness associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The interpretation guidelines for pneumonia management requires knowledge of both the clinical presentation of the disease and local epidemiology. We studied the clinical features, initial laboratory results, antibiotic sensitivities, and outcomes of patients diagnosed with acute community-acquired pneumonia between January 1999 and December 2000 at Srinagarind Hospital. The causative organisms were identified in only 52.2% patients; Streptococcus pneumoniae accounted for 23.1% of infections. Other common causes included Klebsiellapneumoniae (19.2%), Burkholderia pseudomallei (15.4%), Hemophilus influenzae (11.5%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (6.2%), and Staphylococcus aureus (4.6%). Younger patients were more likely to be infected with M. pneumoniae, while the mean age of those with other types of infections was 50. Healthy adults were infected with M. pneumoniae and S. pneumoniae; specific pathogens attacked patients with certain co-morbidity : i) diabetes mellitus and ageing, ii) diabetes mellitus and renal disease, iii) cardiovascular diseases, and iv) connective tissue diseases and steroid-use; these patients were vulnerable to i) K. pneumoniae, ii) B. pseudomallei, iii) H. influenzae, and iv) S. aureus respectively. White blood cell counts were normal in M. pneumoniae infection. Gram-stained sputum had some limitations, especially when determining Gram-negative infections; chest x-rays could not differentiate pathogens. Bactermia was found in one half of patients infected with B. pseudomallei and S. aureus. Antibiotic-resistant organisms were not common in our study. Because morbidity and mortality were high among patients infected with S. aureus and B. pseudomallei, empirical antibiotic treatment should be considered in suspected cases, especially when patients present with acute severe community-acquired pneumonia.

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