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

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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 Jan 1


  • Asia
  • Atypical respiratory pathogens
  • Community-acquired pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Ngeow, Y. F., Suwanjutha, S., Chantarojanasriri, T., Wang, F., Saniel, M., Alejandria, M., Hsueh, P. R., Ping-Ing, L., Park, S. C., Sohn, J. W., Aziah, A. M., Liu, Y., Seto, W. H., Ngan, C. C. L., Hadiarto, M., Hood, A., & Cheong, Y. M. (2005). An Asian study on the prevalence of atypical respiratory pathogens in community-acquired pneumonia. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 9(3), 144-153.