Volume 85, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The microbiologic etiology of severe pneumonia in hospitalized patients is rarely known in sub-Saharan Africa. Through a comprehensive diagnostic work-up, we aimed to identify the causative agent in severely ill patients with a clinical picture of pneumonia admitted to a high-dependency unit. A final diagnosis was made and categorized as confirmed or probable by using predefined criteria. Fifty-one patients were recruited (45% females), with a mean age of 35 years (range = 17–88 years), of whom 11(22%) died. Forty-eight (94%) of the patients were seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus; 14 (29%) of these patients were receiving antiretroviral treatment. Final diagnoses were bacterial pneumonia (29%), pneumonia (27%), pulmonary tuberculosis (22%), and pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma (16%); 39 (77%) of these cases were confirmed cases. Fifteen (29%) patients had multiple isolates. At least 3 of 11 viral-positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were attributed clinical relevance. No atypical bacterial organisms were found.


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  • Received : 11 Nov 2010
  • Accepted : 14 Feb 2011

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