Fight pneumonia – November 12 is World Pneumonia Day
November 12 is World Pneumonia Day, established by the Stop Pneumonia Initiative to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia – one of the leading infectious killers of children and the elderly. For the second year in a row, World Pneumonia Day will be held during the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to increasing cases of pneumonia worldwide. To combat pneumonia, it is important to advocate global action by providing vaccines, medication and testing.
altona Diagnostics provides a wide range of ready-to-use CE-marked test kits for the detection of viral, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory tract via real-time PCR technology across all the altona product lines AltoStar® and RealStar®. Kits of our new product line FlexStar® are under development.
Pneumonia is an acute lower respiratory tract infection specifically affecting the lungs. It can be caused by various infectious agents including viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Pneumonia disproportionately affects children under the age of five, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients. In 2019, approximately 700,000 children and 1,000,000 elderly people died worldwide due to pneumonia.
Viral pneumonia is responsible for about one-third of all pneumonia cases. It is caused by various viruses including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2, as well as human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and human parainfluenza virus (hPIV). There are vaccines available to prevent influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Viral pneumonia may be complicated by a secondary bacterial infection.
Bacterial pneumonia is commonly caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and can affect all ages. Antibiotic treatment is the mainstay of drug therapy for bacterial pneumonia. However, antibiotic resistance among bacteria is growing concern. Besides, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae can cause atypical pneumonia associated with milder symptoms.
Fungal pneumonia is more common in people with weakened immune systems such as HIV infected patients. Pneumocystis jirovecii is one of the most common cause of fungal pneumonia, responsible for at least one quarter of all pneumonia deaths in HIV-infected patients.