Original Article

Viral infection in community acquired pneumonia patients with fever: a prospective observational study

Ru-Jia Tao, Xiao-Li Luo, Wen Xu, Bei Mao, Ruo-Xuan Dai, Cheng-Wei Li, Li Yu, Fen Gu, Shuo Liang, Hai-Wen Lu, Ke-Bin Chen, Jiu-Wu Bai, Xiao-Bin Ji, Shu-Yi Gu, Xiao-Li Sun, Fa-Hui Dai, Ping Jiang, Wei-Jun Cao, Jin-Fu Xu


Background: Patients with community acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by viruses can develop severe complications, which result in hospitalization and death. The purpose of this study was to analyse the aetiology, incidence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of CAP patients with fever during non-pandemics, and then to provide theoretical basis for accurate diagnosis and treatment in CAP patients.
Methods: An enrolment system was established for monitoring the CAP patients with fever. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) kits were used to detect 10 viruses [influenza A and B, adenovirus (ADV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A and B, picornavirus, parainfluenza virus (PIV), coronavirus, human metapneumovirus (HMPV), and bocavirus]. Data on age, gender, underlying diseases, complications, laboratory indexes, and outcomes were collected by physicians.
Results: This prospective study included 320 patients with fever. Among them, 23.4% were viral-positive by mPCR, with influenza virus most prominent followed by picornavirus. Strong variation in seasonal distribution was shown in viral infections, with peak months from December to February. Patients with influenza infection were likely to be taken to emergency rooms and have respiratory failure with higher creatinine kinase levels and lower white blood cell counts. Streptococcus pneumoniae followed by haemophilus influenzae were the most common bacteria in viral co-infections, which accounted for one third of virus-positive patients. Viral CAP and mixed CAP were not independent factors for death. In addition, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) >246 IU/L [odds ratio (OR) =7.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.15–23.2, P=0.001], and serum calcium <2.18 mmol/L (OR =6.67, 95% CI: 1.42–31.3, P=0.016) were associated with death.
Conclusions: Viruses play an important role in CAP patients with fever, a systematic clinical, radiological and biological analysis of these patients can contribute to effective therapy that may prevent the development of CAP and improve the outcomes. The present work showed an elaborate analysis evidence of viral infection among fever CAP inpatients.

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