Incidence of respiratory viruses in patients with community-acquired pneumonia admitted to the intensive care unit: results from the Severe Influenza Pneumonia Surveillance (SIPS) project

  • T. Wiemken
  • P. Peyrani
  • K. Bryant
  • R. R. Kelley
  • J. Summersgill
  • F. Arnold
  • R. Carrico
  • W. P. McKinney
  • C. Jonsson
  • K. Carrico
  • J. Ramirez


Few patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU-CAP). However, they represent the most severe form of the disease. An understanding of the etiologic agents of ICU-CAP may lead to better treatment decisions and patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of respiratory viruses in patients with ICU-CAP. This was an observational study conducted in six Kentucky hospitals from December 2008 through October 2011. A case of ICU-CAP was defined as a patient admitted to an ICU with the diagnosis of CAP. The Luminex xTAG multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used for viral identification. A total of 468 adult and pediatric patients with ICU-CAP were enrolled in the study. A total of 92 adult patients (23 %) and 14 pediatric patients (19 %) had a respiratory virus identified. Influenza was the most common virus identified in adults and the second most common in pediatric patients. This study suggests that respiratory viruses may be common etiologic agents of pneumonia in patients with ICU-CAP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend empiric anti-influenza therapy during the winter for hospitalized patients with CAP. This study supports this recommendation in patients with ICU-CAP.


Influenza Influenza Virus Etiologic Agent Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Respiratory Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, through a technology development and deployment program managed by the National Institute for Hometown Security. The funding source did not have a role in the study design, analysis, or manuscript writing/revision.

The authors would like to thank Cassandra J. Wiemken, Esq. for her editorial assistance.

The authors would like to thank the following SIPS participants for their hard work and dedication: from Spring View Hospital, Lebanon, Kentucky: Kathleen Ferriell, Kim Whisman, and Jennifer Simms; from Trover Regional Medical Center, Madisonville, Kentucky: Tammy Merrill, Amber Mitchell, and Sheryl Stockton; from Highlands Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg, Kentucky: Norcie Blackburn and Rich Pinson.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to report with respect to this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Wiemken
    • 1
    • 6
  • P. Peyrani
    • 1
  • K. Bryant
    • 2
  • R. R. Kelley
    • 1
  • J. Summersgill
    • 1
  • F. Arnold
    • 1
  • R. Carrico
    • 1
  • W. P. McKinney
    • 3
    • 4
  • C. Jonsson
    • 5
  • K. Carrico
    • 1
  • J. Ramirez
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pediatric Infectious DiseasesKosair Children’s HospitalLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Information SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  4. 4.Center for Health Hazards Preparedness, School of Public Health and Information SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  5. 5.Center for Predictive Medicine, Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  6. 6.Division of Infectious Diseases, Clinical and Translational Research Support CenterUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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