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.Methods:
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.Results:
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).Conclusions:
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.