An Asian study on the prevalence of atypical respiratory pathogens in community-acquired pneumonia

Yun Fong Ngeow, Subharee Suwanjutha, Teerachai Chantarojanasriri, Fu Wang, Mediadora Saniel, Marissa Alejandria, Po Ren Hsueh, Lee Ping-Ing, Seung Chul Park, Jang Wook Sohn, Ahmad M. Aziah, Youning Liu, Wing Hong Seto, Cecilia C.L. Ngan, Mangunnegoro Hadiarto, Alsagaff Hood, Yuet Meng Cheong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: In many parts of Asia, the inaccessibility and high cost of diagnostic tests have hampered the study of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by atypical respiratory pathogens. Objective: This surveillance study examined the frequency of infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila in 1756 patients presenting with signs and symptoms of CAP at 12 medical centres in Asia, using standardised laboratory techniques and interpretation criteria in all participating centres. Methods: Diagnosis of current infection was based on significant changes in antibody titer or persisting high antibody titers, together with the presence of bacterial DNA in respiratory secretions, in the case of M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae infections, or bacterial antigen in urine, in the case of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 infection. Results: Using these criteria, results from 1374 patients with paired sera showed that, overall, 23.5% of CAP cases were associated with infection with atypical respiratory pathogens, with M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and L. pneumophila being found in 12.2%, 4.7%, and 6.6% of cases, respectively. Persisting high antibody titers indicative of past exposure to M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and L. pneumophila were seen in 10.2%, 4.8%, and 18.9% of patients, respectively. Conclusion: These data reflect the overall high prevalence of these atypical pathogens among Asian patients with CAP.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-153
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005 May


    • Asia
    • Atypical respiratory pathogens
    • Community-acquired pneumonia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases


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