Pneumonia In Children – Common Causes | Pediatric Oncall


Last Updated : 8/1/2015
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Ira Shah
Pneumonia is infection of the lungs. Other

lower respiratory tract infections seen in children

are croup (laryngotracheobronchitis), bronchitis, and bronchiolitis.

Pneumonia results from

direct inflammation of the lung tissue

. Most commonly, it is the result of infections (bacterial, viral or fungal), but it can occur as a result of chemical injury (gastric acid/ aspiration of food/ hydrocarbon and lipoid pneumonia/ radiation induced pneumonia). The causative agent may reach the lung via the blood stream or from direct inhalation

The incidence of pneumonia in developing countries in children less than 5 years old is almost 30% with a high mortality rate.

Common causes of pneumonia
Newborns:group B Streptococcus (GBS), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Viruses: parainfluenza viruses, influenza virus, adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). cytomegalovirus

Atypical organisms: Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Pneumocystis carinii (PCP). PCP is especially seen in children with immunodeficiencies.

Bacterial: B. pertussis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Haemophilus influenzae, mycobacterial tuberculosis.

Young children:
Viruses: parainfluenza viruses, influenza virus, adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Atypical organisms: Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Bacterial: Pneumococcus, mycobacterial tuberculosis.

Older children and adolescents:
Atypical organisms: Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia trachomatis.

Bacterial: Pneumococcus, B. pertussis, mycobacterial tuberculosis.


rare causes of pneumonia

Histoplasma capsulatum: It is found in nitrate rich soil from bird droppings and decaying wood. It is usually acquired as a result of inhalation of spores. The infection is usually asymptomatic; however, in infants and young children it may cause respiratory distress and hypoxemia.
Cryptococcus neoformans: is a common among pigeon breeders, seen in immunocompromised patients.
In older children, pneumonia may complicate common varicella infections

Contributor Information and Disclosures Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India

First Created : 1/2/2001
Last Updated : 3/5/2007
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Last Updated : 8/1/2015
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