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Respirology. 2011 May;16(4):598-603. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.01964.x.

Pleural infection: changing bacteriology and its implications.

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1
Critical Care Department and Infection Control Committee, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Santa Rita, Complexo Hospitalar Santa Casa, Porto Alegre, Brazil. tlisboa@hcpa.ufrgs.br

Abstract

The incidence of pleural infection continues to rise worldwide. Identifying the causative organism(s) is important to guide antimicrobial therapy. The bacteriology of pleural infection is complex and has changed over time. Recent data suggest that the bacterial causes of empyema are significantly different between adult and paediatric patients, between community-acquired and nosocomial empyemas and can vary among geographical regions of the world. Since the introduction of pneumococcal vaccines, a change has been observed in the distribution of the serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae in empyema. These observations have implications on therapy and vaccine strategies. Clinicians need to be aware of the local bacteriology of empyema in order to guide antibiotic treatment.

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