Accurate data on childhood pneumonia aetiology are essential especially from regions where mortality is high, in order to inform case-management guidelines and the potential of prevention strategies such as bacterial conjugate vaccines. Yield from blood culture is low, but lung aspirate culture provides a higher diagnostic yield. We aimed to determine if diagnostic yield could be increased further by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection of bacteria (
A total of 95 children with radiological focal, lobar or segmental consolidation had lung aspirate performed and sent for bacterial culture and for PCR for detection of bacteria, viruses and
Blood culture identified a bacterial pathogen in only 8 patients (8%). With the addition of PCR on lung aspirate samples, causative pathogens (bacterial, viral, pneumocystis) were identified singly or as co-infections in 59 children (62%). The commonest bacterial organism was
In a select group of African children, lung aspirate PCR significantly improves diagnostic yield. Our study confirms a major role of
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 14-June-2011
Author(s): Carrol E., Mankhambo L., Guiver M., Banda D., Denis B., Dove W., Jeffers G., Molyneux E., Molyneux M., Hart C., Graham S.