How often do lower respiratory tract infections cause septic shock and what are the common pathogens?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Lower respiratory tract infections cause septic shock in 35-50% of patients. [36, 37, 38, 39] The following are the common pathogens:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae

  • Escherichia coli

  • Legionella species

  • Haemophilus species

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Pseudomonas species

  • Anaerobes

  • Gram-negative bacteria

  • Fungi (see the image below)

    An 8-year-old boy developed septic shock secondary An 8-year-old boy developed septic shock secondary to Blastomycosis pneumonia. Fungal infections are rare causes of septic shock.

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