What is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)?

Updated: Oct 31, 2019
  • Author: Stephanie L Baer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of the most common infectious diseases and is an important cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Typical bacterial pathogens that cause CAP include Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis (see images below). However, with the advent of novel diagnostic technologies, viral respiratory pathogens are increasingly being identified as frequent etiologies of CAP. The most common viral pathogens recovered from hospitalized patients admitted with CAP include human rhinovirus and influenza. [1]

Gram stain showing Streptococcus pneumoniae. Gram stain showing Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Gram stain showing Haemophilus influenzae. Gram stain showing Haemophilus influenzae.

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