Significance of Anaerobes and Oral Bacteria in Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Kei Yamasaki, Toshinori Kawanami, Kazuhiro Yatera, Kazumasa Fukuda, Shingo Noguchi, Shuya Nagata, Chinatsu Nishida, Takashi Kido, Hiroshi Ishimoto, Hatsumi Taniguchi, Hiroshi Mukae

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99 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Molecular biological modalities with better detection rates have been applied to identify the bacteria causing infectious diseases. Approximately 10-48% of bacterial pathogens causing community-acquired pneumonia are not identified using conventional cultivation methods. This study evaluated the bacteriological causes of community-acquired pneumonia using a cultivation-independent clone library analysis of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of bronchoalveolar lavage specimens, and compared the results with those of conventional cultivation methods.Methods:Patients with community-acquired pneumonia were enrolled based on their clinical and radiological findings. Bronchoalveolar lavage specimens were collected from pulmonary pathological lesions using bronchoscopy and evaluated by both a culture-independent molecular method and conventional cultivation methods. For the culture-independent molecular method, approximately 600 base pairs of 16S ribosomal RNA genes were amplified using polymerase chain reaction with universal primers, followed by the construction of clone libraries. The nucleotide sequences of 96 clones randomly chosen for each specimen were determined, and bacterial homology was searched. Conventional cultivation methods, including anaerobic cultures, were also performed using the same specimens.Results:In addition to known common pathogens of community-acquired pneumonia [Streptococcus pneumoniae (18.8%), Haemophilus influenzae (18.8%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (17.2%)], molecular analysis of specimens from 64 patients with community-acquired pneumonia showed relatively higher rates of anaerobes (15.6%) and oral bacteria (15.6%) than previous reports.Conclusion:Our findings suggest that anaerobes and oral bacteria are more frequently detected in patients with community-acquired pneumonia than previously believed. It is possible that these bacteria may play more important roles in community-acquired pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere63103
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 6 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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