CDC Study Finds HRV Virus Most Commonly Detected Among Pneumonia Patients

A recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that viruses cause more pneumonia-related hospitalizations among American adults than bacteria.

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe two-and-a-half year study was conducted at three hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, and two hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee.

Researchers found viruses in 27 percent of patients and bacteria in 14 percent of patients. Human rhinovirus (HRV) was the most commonly detected virus among pneumonia patients.

“Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death among adults in the United States and in 2011 the medical costs exceeded $10 billion [dollars]. Most of the time doctors are unable to pinpoint a specific cause of pneumonia. We urgently need more sensitive, rapid tests to identify causes of pneumonia and to promote better treatment,” Tom Frieden, CDC director, wrote in a statement.

According to a news release, Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community (EPIC) team enrolled 2,488 eligible adults, of which 2,320 had radiographically confirmed pneumonia. The median age of study participants was 57 years.

The sudity also shows that influenza (flu) is the second most common viral pathogen detected, and there were twice as many pneumonia hospitalizations due to influenza than any other viral pathogen -except HRV- in adults 80 years or older.

Together, human metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, coronavirus, and adenovirus were detected in 13 percent of patients.

Still according to a news release, streptococcus pneumoniae was the most commonly found bacteria in patients causing an estimated five times more pneumonia hospitalizations in adults 65 years and older than in younger adults.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae combined were detected in 4 percent of patients.

According to CDC officials, this study “hopes to improve understanding of the burden pneumonia places on U.S. adults and children.”

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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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