What are the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia, and which pathogens may be involved?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Cough, particularly cough productive of sputum, is the most consistent presenting symptom of bacterial pneumonia and may suggest a particular pathogen, as follows:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae: Rust-colored sputum

  • Pseudomonas, Haemophilus, and pneumococcal species: May produce green sputum

  • Klebsiella species pneumonia: Red currant-jelly sputum

  • Anaerobic infections: Often produce foul-smelling or bad-tasting sputum

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