A practical approach estimating etiologic agents using real-time PCR in pediatric inpatients with community-acquired pneumonia

Takafumi Okada, Miyuki Morozumi, Hiroshi Sakata, Reiko Takayanagi, Naruhiko Ishiwada, Yoshitake Sato, Tomohiro Oishi, Takeshi Tajima, Tunekazu Haruta, Naohisa Kawamura, Kazunobu Ouchi, Keita Matsubara, Naoko Chiba, Takashi Takahashi, Satoshi Iwata, Kimiko Ubukata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate pathogens in pediatric inpatients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), an Acute Respiratory Diseases Study Group organized by ten Japanese medical institutions devised a rapid, reliable process based on real-time PCR results in nasopharyngeal swab samples plus admission blood test results. From April 2008 to April 2009, we enrolled 903 children with CAP based on chest radiographs and clinical findings who were hospitalized within 5 days of onset. Comprehensive real-time PCR was used to detect 6 bacteria and 11 respiratory viruses. The swab specimens also were used for bacterial cultures. After initial determination of presence or absence of viral and mycoplasmal infections, significant bacterial contributions were defined by bacterial identification, clinical efficacy of antimicrobial agent, and reference to blood test results. Children were stratified by age: below 1 year, 1 year, 2-5 years, or at least 6 years old. Among patients studied, 34.4 % were diagnosed with viral infection; 21.8 %, bacterial infection; 17.5 %, viral/bacterial co-infection; 5.9 %, mycoplasmal infection; 0.3 %, mycoplasmal/bacterial co-infection; and 1.7 %, viral/mycoplasmal co-infection. The remaining 18.4 % had unknown pathogens. Purely viral infection was suggested mainly in infants younger than 1 year; mycoplasmal infection typically occurred in children at least 6 years old. Our results suggest usefulness of real-time PCR for nasopharyngeal samples together with blood tests in estimating etiologic agents in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-840
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Comprehensive detection
  • Etiologic agents
  • Pediatric inpatient
  • Real-time PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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