The lower respiratory tract infection are the infection consisting of the trachea (wind pipe), bronchial tubes, the bronchioles, and the lungs, including the bronchitis and pneumonia. According to The World Health Report 2004 – Changing History(1), in 2002 lower respiratory track infection were still the leading cause of deaths among all infectious diseases, and accounted for 3.9 million deaths worldwide and 6.9% of all deaths that year.
Pneumonia is defined as a condition of the inflammation of the lung as a result of infection, caused by bacteria, such as bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae or influenza viruses in most cases. Fungi, such as Pneumocystis jiroveci, certain medication such as PPI Stomach Acid Drugs and other conditions such as impaired immune systems.
A.1.2. Bacterial causes of Pneumonia
1. Atypical Bacteria
‘Atypical’ bacteria, especially C. pneumoniae (Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, C. pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Coxiella burnetii (phase-2 antigen) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (IgG and IgM)), are a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia in adults in South Africa. In the study to assess the proportion of cases of community-acquired pneumonia caused by ‘atypical’ bacteria, including the recently discovered Chlamydia pneumoniae, and to compare the clinical, radiographic and laboratory features of patients with and without ‘atypical’ bacteria, showed that in the he records of 4 patients could not be traced and 17 patients did not fulfil the inclusion criteria. Thirty-two of these 92 patients (35.9%) were found to be infected with ‘atypical’ bacteria. The two most common organisms were C. pneumoniae (20.7%) and L. pneumophila (8.7%)(14).
2. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus
Pneumonia is an infection of the lower respiratory tract caused by microbial pathogens. Two such pathogens, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, are the most common causes of community-acquired and hospital-acquired pneumonia respectively(15).
3. Bacillus anthraxis
There is a report of a case of rapidly progressive, fatal, anthrax-like pneumonia and the overwhelming infection caused by a Bacillus species of uncertain provenance in a patient residing in rural Texas, according to teh study by Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Methodist Hospital System(16).
4. Coxiella burnetii
Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever is an intracellular bacterium and a potential weapon for bioterrorism. The widespread throughout the world zoonosis is manifested clinically as a self-limited febrile illness, as pneumonia (acute Q fever) or as a chronic illness with endocarditis being its major complication(17).
5. Legionella pneumophila
Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease is a facultative intracellular bacterium, which in the course of human infection multiplies in lung macrophages predominantly manifesting as pneumonia(18).
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