Continuing with the pathogenic causes of Atypical Pneumonia, we will take a look at the other two agents, their course, diagnosis, and treatment.
1. Atypical pneumonia caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae: This pathogen causes milder symptoms and lower death rate though relapse is common. There are three classes of Chlamydia that infect humans of which Chlamydophila trachomatis usually infect newborns and in some cases adults as well.
a. In its respiratory manifestation Chlamydophila pneumoniae exhibits upper respiratory tract conditions such as bronchiolitis, prolonged and non-productive cough, and reactive airway disease.
c. It also presents sinusitis, headache and bronchitis symptoms.
d. In conjunctional presence of Streptococcus pneumoniae, atypical pneumonia takes a very severe turn with high mortality rate.
Conclusive diagnosis is usually achieved through sputum cultures, serum tests and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction test). However, the most effective diagnosis technique is the preferred diagnostic result is a 4-fold increase in titers from the acute stage to convalescence, with supporting evidence from PCR or culture tests. To support the diagnosis Complete Blood Counts (CBC), Chest X-rays, bronchoscopy, and open lung biopsy may be suggested.
The treatment is successful with the use of macrolide, fluoroquinolone or doxycycline. Sometimes Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, or Erythromycin are also prescribed.
2. Atypical pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila: Also known as the Legionnaires' disease, these micro-organisms cause acute symptoms of pneumonia and present a high mortality rate. Inhalation of contaminated air from air-conditioners is associated with this disease.
Legionella pneumophila oriented atypical pneumonia is caused by a combination or any of the following factors:
a. Inhalation of aerosols,
b. Aspiration of Legionella-contaminated water such as those in and from cooling towers, whirlpool baths, and/or respiratory therapy equipment.
Risk groups include those having undergone neck and head surgeries, those who use corticosteroids, those who smoke or have chronic lung disease.
Diagnosis of the condition is done through many methods, of which some successful ones are:
a. A sputum culture test.
b. The Legionella urine antigen test
c. A PCR test
d. Serological tests,
e. Test of pleural fluids, and
f. Direct fluorescent antibody staining test.
Highly effective treatments have been given for patients with a 2-week regimen of rifampin, macrolides, quinolones, erythromycin, or azithromycin.
Mamta Singh is a published author (Migraines for the Informed Woman – Tips from a Sufferer. Publisher: Rupa & Co.), seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. Mamta runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business, and is presently training as a Holistic Healing Therapist from the U.K. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation.
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