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Community-acquired respiratory viruses

Dominguez, Fernando; Blodget, Emily

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: August 2019 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 - p 511–514
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000667

Purpose of review Community-acquired respiratory viruses (CARV) have been historically linked to upper respiratory tract infections; however, new data has emerged in recent years that has provided new insight into their role as causative pathogens for lower respiratory tract infections. We aim to discuss the importance of recognition of viruses both epidemiologically and clinically as causes of lower respiratory tract infection.

Recent findings With advances of molecular testing it is now possible to identify viruses from clinical specimens which have many implications that range from therapeutics to antibiotic stewardship. Recent studies suggest that most of the cases of community-acquired pneumonia are caused by viruses, which corresponds to a paradigm shift for most clinicians.

Summary As community-acquired lower respiratory infections are the most common cause of ICU admission in the USA, it is important for medical providers to be aware of the association with viruses, especially in patients with immunosuppression because of solid organ transplant and hematologic malignancies when sometimes diagnosis can be challenging and patients can be exposed to unnecessary antibiotics.

Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA

Correspondence to Emily Blodget, MD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, 2020 Zonal Avenue, IRD Room 436, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA. Tel: +1 323 409 4444; fax: +1 323 226 7726; e-mail:

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