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Infectious agents associated with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) are under-studied. This study attempted to identify viruses from the upper respiratory tract in adults visiting emergency departments for clinically suspected CAP. Adults with suspected CAP enrolled in the ESCAPED study (impact of computed tomography on CAP diagnosis) had prospective nasopharyngeal (NP) samples studied by multiplex PCR (targeting 15 viruses and four intracellular bacteria). An adjudication committee composed of infectious disease specialists, pneumologists and radiologists blinded to PCR results reviewed patient records, including computed tomography and day 28 follow up, to categorize final diagnostic probability of CAP as definite, probable, possible, or excluded. Among the 254 patients enrolled, 78 (31%) had positive PCR, which detected viruses in 72/254 (28%) and intracellular bacteria in 8 (3%) patients. PCR was positive in 44/125 (35%) patients with definite CAP and 21/83 (25%) patients with excluded CAP. The most frequent organisms were influenza A/B virus in 27 (11%), rhinovirus in 20 (8%), coronavirus in seven (3%), respiratory syncytial virus in seven (3%) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in eight (3%) of 254 patients. Proportion of rhinovirus was higher in patients with excluded CAP compared with other diagnostic categories (p = 0.01). No such difference was observed for influenza virus. Viruses seem common in adults attending emergency departments with suspected CAP. A concomitant clinical, radiological and biological analysis of the patient's chart can contribute to either confirm their role, or suggest upper respiratory tract infection or shedding. Their imputability and impact in early management of CAP deserve further studies.NCT01574066.

Original publication





Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Publication Date





608.e1 - 608.e8


IAME, UMR 1137, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France; UMR 1137, Inserm, Paris, France.


ESCAPED Study Group, Nasopharynx, Humans, Viruses, Community-Acquired Infections, Pneumonia, Viral, Prospective Studies, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Emergency Service, Hospital, France, Female, Male, Young Adult, Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction