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Study Supports Targeting Atypical Pathogens in Pneumonia

In hospitalized patients around the world, mortality is reduced when treatment covers atypical pathogens

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia, survival and other outcomes are better if the treatment targets atypical pathogens and includes a macrolide, fluoroquinolone or tetracycline, according to an international study published in the May 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Forest W. Arnold, D.O., of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues studied treatment patterns and outcomes in 2,208 patients worldwide who were listed in the Community-Acquired Pneumonia Organization database.

The researchers found that significantly more patients received an atypical treatment regimen in North America and Europe (91 percent and 74 percent, respectively) than in Latin America or Africa/Asia (53 percent and 10 percent, respectively). They also found that an atypical treatment regimen reduced the time to clinical stability from 3.7 to 3.2 days; hospital stays from 7.1 to 6.1 days; total mortality from 11.1 to 7 percent; and community-acquired pneumonia-related mortality from 6.4 to 3.8 percent.

"Our data strongly support the concept that all hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia should receive empiric therapy with a regimen that covers typical and atypical pathogens," the authors conclude.

Authors of this study have current and past paid affiliations with pharmaceutical companies.

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