Pseudomonas aeruginosa identified as a key pathogen in hospitalised children with aspiration pneumonia and a high aspiration risk

Liat Ashkenazi-Hoffnung*, Anne Ari, Efraim Bilavsky, Oded Scheuerman, Jacob Amir, Dario Prais

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Data on the causative pathogens and optimal empirical therapy of aspiration pneumonia in children are limited. This study sought to describe the bacteriology of aspiration pneumonia in hospitalised children with a high aspiration risk. Methods: Respiratory tract specimens were prospectively collected using the induced sputum technique from children with a high aspiration risk who were hospitalised for aspiration pneumonia in a tertiary paediatric medical centre from 2009 to 2014. Clinical, microbiological and treatment data were recorded and analysed for each admission. Results: The cohort comprised 50 children with 235 hospital admissions. Of the 183 respiratory tract cultures performed, 110 were positive for bacteria, with 169 isolates, mostly Gram-negative. The most common Gram-negative pathogen was Pseudomonas aeruginosa. If patients had Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolation, the risk of them having the pathogen again was 81%. The multivariate analysis showed that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis and number of hospitalisations were significantly associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolation. Conclusion: Gram-negative bacilli, especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were the major causative agents of paediatric aspiration pneumonia in our study. Empiric antipseudomonas treatment should be considered, particularly in patients who are receiving antibiotic prophylaxis, have experienced recurrent hospitalisations or with previous respiratory cultures that showed Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e588-e592
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Induced sputum
  • Neurologically impaired children
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Respiratory infection
  • Respiratory tract culture


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