Continuing with the pathogenic causes of Atypical Pneumonia, we will take a look at the other two agents, their course, diagnosis, and treatment.
1. Atypical pneumonia caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae: This pathogen causes milder symptoms and lower death rate though relapse is common. There are three classes of Chlamydia that infect humans of which Chlamydophila trachomatis usually infect newborns and in some cases adults as well.
a. In its respiratory manifestation Chlamydophila pneumoniae exhibits upper respiratory tract conditions such as bronchiolitis, prolonged and non-productive cough, and reactive airway disease.
b. In its pulmonary form, the disease manifest itself as hypoxia.
c. It also presents sinusitis, headache and bronchitis symptoms.
d. In conjunctional presence of Streptococcus pneumoniae, atypical pneumonia takes a very severe turn with high mortality rate.
Conclusive diagnosis is usually achieved through sputum cultures, serum tests and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction test). However, the most effective diagnosis technique is the preferred diagnostic result is a 4-fold increase in titers from the acute stage to convalescence, with supporting evidence from PCR or culture tests. To support the diagnosis Complete Blood Counts (CBC), Chest X-rays, bronchoscopy, and open lung biopsy may be suggested.
The treatment is successful with the use of macrolide, fluoroquinolone or doxycycline. Sometimes Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, or Erythromycin are also prescribed.
2. Atypical pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila: Also known as the Legionnaires' disease, these micro-organisms cause acute symptoms of pneumonia and present a high mortality rate. Inhalation of contaminated air from air-conditioners is associated with this disease.
Legionella pneumophila oriented atypical pneumonia is caused by a combination or any of the following factors:
a. Inhalation of aerosols,
b. Aspiration of Legionella-contaminated water such as those in and from cooling towers, whirlpool baths, and/or respiratory therapy equipment.