Friday, March 21, 2014

Viral etiology of nosocomial pneumonia

From a recent paper in Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases:

Respiratory viruses may be responsible for healthcare-associated pneumonia, because affected patients and those with CAP have the same risk factors for viral disease. In mechanically ventilated patients, viruses belonging to the Herpesviridae family, namely herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus, can be reactivated and cause bronchopneumonitis or ventilator-associated pneumonia, respectively. Recent results confirmed the high rate of HSV reactivation in the distal airways of mechanically ventilated patients, and that patients with high virus loads (greater than 10 copies/ml of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid) have poorer outcomes than those with low or no virus load. However, the responsibility of mimivirus, initially described as a possible cause of pneumonia, was not confirmed for nosocomial pneumonia.

Respiratory viruses are mainly responsible for CAP, but they may also cause healthcare-associated pneumonia. HSV bronchopneumonitis and cytomegalovirus pneumonia are not rare diseases..

Via Hospital Medicine Virtual Journal Club.

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