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Viral Community-Acquired Pneumonia: If We Do Not Diagnose It and Do Not Treat It, Can It Still Hurt Us?

Michael S. Niederman, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Medicine, Winthrop-University Hospital; and the Department of Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook.

Correspondence to: Michael S. Niederman, MD, FCCP, 222 Station Plaza N, Ste 509, Mineola, NY 11501; e-mail: mniederman@winthrop.org


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: Dr Niederman has served as a consultant to Aerogen, Bayer, Ceragenix, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer. He has received grant support from Aerogen and Biomerieux, and lecture fees from Pfizer, Bayer, Johnson and Johnson, and Merck. These activities are not relevant to the content of this editorial.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2010;138(4):767-769. doi:10.1378/chest.10-0820
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Viruses are a generally neglected cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) for a number of understandable reasons. They are included in investigational and epidemiologic studies, but are not routinely sought in clinical practice because they are difficult to diagnose, primarily because the methods used for this purpose (culture, immunofluorescence for viral antigens, and serology) are expensive and often unavailable, and the results do not become known in a timely manner. In addition, there are few available antiviral agents, and when these are used therapeutically, they are not as rapidly and clinically effective as we have come to expect from antibacterial therapies.

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