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Curr Opin Crit Care. 2006 Oct;12(5):470-6.

Severe pneumococcal pneumonia: new strategies for management.

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Department of Pediatrics, Veterans General Hospital - Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia worldwide and is the most likely causative pathogen in patients with community-acquired pneumonia admitted to the intensive care unit. Bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia is an advanced stage of severe pneumococcal pneumonia. Improvement in the management of bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia has the potential for improving the survival for severe pneumococcal pneumonia.


Non-culture methods, especially the Binax urinary antigen test, can increase the diagnostic yield for pneumococcal pneumonia, allowing targeted antimicrobial therapy (specifically penicillin). In-vitro resistance to penicillin has increased over the past decade; however, it has not led to clinical failure when used for pneumococcal pneumonia.


Hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia should have blood cultures obtained to confirm the possibility of bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia. Based on pharmacodynamic properties, parenteral penicillin remains the drug of choice to treat pneumococcal pneumonia regardless of in-vitro resistance. Combination antimicrobial therapy will likely improve survival of patients with bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia among the subset of critically ill patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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