• Vol. 28 No. 4, 476–480
  • 15 July 1999

A Prospective Study of Infections with Atypical Pneumonia Organisms in Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis



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The objective of this paper was to study the incidence of 6 atypical pneumonia pathogens or atypical organisms in local patients admitted for acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. This is a prospective observational study. Over a period of 3 years (1995 to 1997), 90 patients admitted to a large general hospital in Singapore for acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis were tested for the following infections: Legionella, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, influenza A, influenza B and parainfluenza viruses, using paired serological examination. The antibiotic prescribing pattern by the attending physicians in these cases were also examined. Positive serologies were found in 31 patients (34%), of whom 26 patients (28%) had viral infections. The most common organism was influenza A with 18 positive serologies (20%). Five patients were tested positive for Legionella. There was no evidence of acute infections by Mycoplasma pneumoniae or chlamydia using serological tests.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease state characterised by the presence of airflow limitation that is generally progressive, partially reversible and caused by either intrinsic airway disease (bronchitis) or parenchymal destruction (emphysema). COPD is a leading cause of death and a major medical and economic problem.

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