Edward Lyon, Liset Olarte

Community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in children: an update on antibiotic duration and immunization strategies

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Purpose of review This review is structured to update clinicians on the epidemiology, antibiotic treatment, and prevention of pediatric bacterial pneumonia. The review provides information regarding the current research on antibiotic management for bacterial pneumonia and the newest immunization recommendations to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Recent findings The recommended length of antibiotic therapy for bacterial pneumonia has been discrepant between low-income and high-income countries. Recently, randomized controlled trials conducted in high-income countries provided evidence to support a short antibiotic course (3–5 days) for uncomplicated bacterial pneumonia in otherwise healthy children. The negative impact of inaccurate penicillin allergy labels in children with pneumonia has emphasized the importance of prompt allergy de-labeling. Newer pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for children and are expected to have a significant impact on bacterial pneumonia rates. Summary Pediatric bacterial pneumonia is an important contributor to childhood morbidity and mortality. A short antibiotic course seems to be sufficient for the outpatient management of uncomplicated bacterial pneumonia; however, more studies are required in the inpatient setting. Future studies will inform the impact of recently introduced pneumococcal and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines on the epidemiology of bacterial pneumonia.

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