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Community-Acquired Pneumonia (Birkh?user Advances in Infectious Diseases)

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Community-acquired pneumonia is a disease of high morbidity and mortality. Demographic changes in industrialised countries with a growing population of elderly persons will add to its significance. In the last years much progress in the field of community-acquired pneumonia has been achieved. Vaccination programs against influenza and Streptococcus pneumoniae have been established. Risk-adjusted management of patients with community-acquired pneumonia allows to identify patients in need of hospitalisation and intensive care and helps to choose an effective antibiotic therapy. “New” pathogens such as C. pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Chlamydia-like organisms, the human coronavirus or the avian influenza virus have been detected. In spite of all progress, clinical diagnosis of community- acquired pneumonia is by no means trivial; detection of respiratory pathogens often fails or gives inconclusive results and duration and choice of antibiotics still is a matter of debate.

Moreover, many patients progress from uncomplicated pneumonia to severe pneumonia and even to pneumonia-related septic shock despite adequate antibiotic therapy. Therefore, besides new antibiotics we definitely need a non-antibiotic approach and a better understanding of what determines individual immune responses to pneumonia is crucial. Fundamental molecular and cellular pathologic characteristics of disease must be linked with clinical aspects of infection.

The present book is intended to bridge the gap between basic science, clinical research and patient management and to crosslink patient care with biology and microbiology. It gives a state of the art information on different aspects of community-acquired pneumonia and allows the reader to get data on recent developments in community-acquired pneumonia. The editors Norbert Suttorp, Tobias Welte and Reinhard Marre themselves, representing clinical medicine, clinical research, microbiology as well as cell biology, hope that this book will help to manage patients with communityacquired pneumonia and to identify promising areas of research.
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