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For further information, see CMDT Part 33-39: Infections Caused by Chlamydiae

Key Features

  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae (formerly known as Chlamydia pneumoniae) causes pneumonia and bronchitis

  • C pneumoniae causes approximately 10% of community-acquired pneumonias

  • C pneumoniae is second only to Mycoplasma as an agent of atypical pneumonia

Clinical Findings

  • The clinical presentation is that of an atypical pneumonia


  • Microimmunofluorescence or complement fixation test of acute and convalescent sera


  • Strains of C pneumoniae are resistant to sulfonamides

  • Erythromycin or tetracycline, 500 mg four times daily orally for 10–14 days, appears to be effective

  • Fluoroquinolones, such as levofloxacin, 500 mg orally or moxifloxacin 400 mg orally once daily for 7–14 days, are active in vitro against C pneumoniae and are probably effective; ciprofloxacin has inferior antichlamydial activity compared with the newer fluoroquinolones

  • It is unclear if empiric coverage for atypical pathogens in hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia provides a survival benefit or improves clinical outcome

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