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January 25, 1995

Respiratory Infections: A Scientific Basis for Management

Author Affiliations

Mayo Clinic Scottsdale Scottsdale, Ariz

JAMA. 1995;273(4):353-354. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520280101056

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Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Hantavirus-associated lung disease. Plague pneumonia. Penicillin-resistant pneumococci. Headlines and news anchors toss the terms about with urgency and facility. The general public is questioning whether there is reason to be alarmed. At a time like this, Respiratory Infections is a welcome resource promising by way of its subtitle to offer "a scientific basis for management."

Few infections are as difficult for the practicing physician as pneumonia. The plethora of microorganisms causing pulmonary infection, the difficulty of obtaining a specimen adequate for microbiologic analysis, the large number of antimicrobial agents—all these factors tend to magnify the confusion and uncertainty clinicians feel about pneumonia. Legionella, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium complex, and Pneumocystis. Is there no end to this expanding list of pulmonary pathogens? Should a sputum culture report indicating presence of Pseudomonas dictate a change in antibiotic therapy? How can nosocomial pulmonary infection be prevented? Is "selective digestive tract

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