, Volume 65, Issue 9, pp 1179–1192 | Cite as

Short-Course Therapy for Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Paediatric Patients

  • Shamim QaziEmail author
Leading Article


Studies conducted over the past few years for the treatment of pneumonia have provided data on the basis of which therapeutic decisions concerning the duration of therapy can be taken.

Results from a majority of the studies conducted in hospitalised patients using the conventional methods for diagnosing pneumonia have methodological problems, which make it difficult to draw definite conclusions. Despite these limitations, the overall trend of these descriptive studies show a therapy of ≤5 days being as effective as the longer course of 7–14 days for children up to the age of 12 years. Data for duration of antibacterial therapy for infants <2 months of age hardly exists.

Evidence suggests that a shorter course of antibacterial therapy of 3 days is effective for treatment of community-acquired, non-severe ambulatory pneumonia in immunocompetent children aged 2–59 months old. Shorter duration of therapy offers several potential advantages that include prevention of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, lower healthcare costs, improved adherence to therapy and fewer adverse effects. There is a need to improve the evidence base for the optimum duration of therapy for children hospitalised with severe pneumonia.


Pneumonia Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antimicrobial Resistance Antibacterial Therapy Severe Pneumonia 
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.



© World Health Organization 2005. All rights reserved. The World Health Organization has granted the Publisher permission for the reproduction of this article.


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© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Health and DevelopmentWorld Health OrganizationGenevaSwitzerland

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