Pneumococcal bacterial load colonization as a marker of mixed infection in children with alveolar community-acquired pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus or rhinovirus infection.Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Nov; 32(11):1199-204.PI
The main aim of this study was to evaluate whether nasopharyngeal Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization in children with alveolar community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or rhinovirus (RV) infection indicates a mixed lung infection.
The nasopharyngeal secretions of 530 children with radiographically confirmed CAP were tested using the Luminex x TAG respiratory virus panel fast assay. Real-time polymerase chain reaction for the autolysin-A (LytA) and wzg (cpsA) genes of S. pneumoniae was performed on the RSV- and RV-positive samples.
Sixty-five of the 126 RSV-positive children (51.6%) were colonized with S. pneumoniae. Mean bacterial load was significantly higher in the patients with alveolar involvement (4.54±1.47 log10 DNA copies/mL vs. 3.75±1.62 log10 DNA copies/mL; P=0.04). Serotypes 5 and 19A were almost exclusively identified in the children with RSV and alveolar CAP, although the difference was statistically significant only for serotype 19A (P=0.03). Eighty-three of the 134 RV-positive children (61.9%) were colonized with S. pneumoniae and again mean bacterial load was significantly higher in the patients with alveolar involvement (4.21±1.37 log10 DNA copies/mL vs. 3.41±1.47 log10 DNA copies/mL; P=0.03). Serotypes 1, 5 and 19A were more frequently identified in the children with RV and alveolar CAP, although the difference was statistically significant only for serotype 5 (P=0.04).
In children with alveolar CAP and RSV or RV infection, the determination of nasopharyngeal pneumococcal bacterial load and identification of the serotypes can contribute to the diagnosis of mixed lung infection.