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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The evolving burden of viruses in pneumonia

Nicole R Brenner, Andrew F Shorr
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 2019 January 21
30672787

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe the evolving microbiology of various forms of pneumonia and the importance of viruses as etiologic causes of pneumonia.

RECENT FINDINGS: Multiple studies utilizing novel diagnostic modalities demonstrate that the prevalence of viruses as causes for pneumonia varies from approximately 10-30% depending on the specific pneumonia type evaluated. Viral pneumonias appear similar in presentation and severity of illness to bacterial causes of pulmonary infection. Clinical criteria do not reliably allow the differentiation of viral from bacterial causes in pneumonia.

SUMMARY: Viruses represent a pool of important culprit organisms in pneumonia and identification of a viral pathogen may facilitate attempts at antibiotic stewardship.

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