Certain pathogens are prevalent in community-acquired pneumonia among COPD patients compared to non-COPD patients, according to a study in the latest edition of Respiratory Medicine.

During a 6 year-period, scientists led by Ricard Pifarre at Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain, performed a comparative analysis of characteristics of pneumonia between 132 patients with a definitive diagnosis of COPD and 575 patients who did not have this underlying disease.

The study revealed that COPD was associated with an older and predominantly male population with additional conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, the symptoms of their pneumonia were also more severe, usually requiring hospitilization. The length of their stay was increased compared to pneumonia patients without COPD.

Although the responsible microorganisms was very similar in both groups, the incidence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other Gram-negative bacilli was increased in the COPD patients, especially in advanced cases or in patients being treated corticosteroids.

The researchers concluded that community-acquired pneumonia in patients with COPD was mainly related to the underlying disease but showed only minor differences in outcome parameters. Gram-negative bacilli and P. aeruginosa are potential pathogens that need to be considered.

To read the full abstract, click here.