Contributions to the knowledge of the aetiology of paediatric community-acquired pneumonia and the pathophysiology of persistent respiratory symptoms in preschool aged children

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and
persistent/recurrent respiratory symptoms are
common problems in childhood. The current
knowledge of the causative micro-organisms and
underlying pathophysiology is limited, because
aetiological diagnosis and studies are hampered
by technical issues and ethical considerations.
This work focuses on the aetiology of CAP and
persistent/recurrent wheezing unresponsive to
conventional asthma therapy, in children.
In acute CAP, the predominance of Streptococcus
pneumoniae as aetiological agent was confirmed
and the predominant pneumococcal serotypes
were determined. In addition, it was shown for
the first time that in recurrent and unresponsive
CAP, aetiology is different with predominance of
non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.
In children with persistent/ recurrent wheezing, it
was demonstrated that structural anomalies of
the conductive airways, bronchial inflammation
and bacterial infection are common. Moreover, it
was shown for the first time that in case of
bronchial infection, non-typeable Haemophilus
influenzae is the bacteria most frequently
The obtained insights provide a basis for a better
understanding of the epidemiology of childhood
CAP and the underlying pathophysiology in persistent/recurrent wheezing
Date of Award28 Jun 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
SupervisorDenis Pierard (Promotor), Anne Malfroot (Co-promotor), Walter Vincken (Jury), Yvan Vandenplas (Jury), Anne Naessens (Jury), Mary Slack (Jury), Philippe Lepage (Jury) & Geert Leroux-Roels (Jury)


  • pneumonia
  • CAP
  • respiratory systems
  • childhood
  • astma therapy

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