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BMC Infectious Diseases

, 6:11

First Online: 24 January 2006Received: 27 July 2005Accepted: 24 January 2006


BackgroundA reliable prediction of the causative agent of community-acquired pneumonia CAP is not possible based on clinical features. Our aim was to test, whether the measurement of the expression of complement receptors or Fcγ receptors on neutrophils and monocytes would be a useful preliminary test to differentiate between bacterial and viral pneumonia.

MethodsSixty-eight patients with CAP were studied prospectively. Thirteen patients had pneumococcal pneumonia; 13 patients, influenza A pneumonia; 5 patients, atypical pneumonia, and 37 patients, aetiologically undefined pneumonia. Leukocyte receptor expression was measured within 2 days of hospital admission.

ResultsThe mean expression of complement receptor 1 CR1 on neutrophils was significantly higher in the patients with pneumococcal pneumonia than in those with influenza A pneumonia. The mean expression of CR1 was also significantly higher in aetiologically undefined pneumonia than in influenza A pneumonia, but there was no difference between pneumococcal and undefined pneumonia.

ConclusionOur results suggest that the expression of CR1 is higher in classical bacterial pneumonia than in viral pneumonia. Determination of the expression of CR1 may be of value as an additional rapid tool in the aetiological diagnosis, bacterial or viral infection, of CAP. These results are preliminary and more research is needed to assess the utility of this new method in the diagnostics of pneumonia.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2334-6-11 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Ulla Hohenthal - Jari Nuutila - Esa-Matti Lilius - Iina Laitinen - Jukka Nikoskelainen - Pirkko Kotilainen


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