Medicine (MD/DO)
Pneumonia Causative Organisms by Age
Common Causes of Pneumonia: Elderly (65+ Years Old)

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Common Causes of Pneumonia: Elderly (65+ Years Old)

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Common Causes of Pneumonia: Elderly (65+ Years Old)

Nude-Mona and Elderly Adult with (65) Social-security-card
Pneumonia is an acute or chronic lung condition defined as inflammation of the alveoli or filling of the alveoli with fluid. It is usually caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and sometimes by physical and chemical irritants. It typically presents with fever, chest congestion, difficulty breathing, cough and sputum. In older adults common causes are Streptococcus pneumoniae, influenza virus, anaerobes, H. influenzae, and gram-negative rods.
Influenza Virus
Flute Virus

Viruses, specifically influenza account for about 50% of pneumonia cases in the elderly, and are less severe than bacterial pneumonia.

Haemophilus influenzae
He-man In-flute

This gram-negative coccobacilli is a pathogen commonly associated with pneumonia.


Bacteria that cannot survive in the presence of oxygen can cause pneumonia through aspiration. Some examples of anaerobes that cause pneumonia through aspiration are Peptostreptococcus, Fusobacterium, Prevotella, and Bacteroides.

Streptococcus pneumoniae
Stripper Nude-Mona

This gram-positive, lancet shaped, alpha hemolytic, optochin sensitive, bile soluble, diplococci presents as a typical pneumonia except for the identifying symptom of rusty colored sputum. It is one of the common causes of pneumonia in everyone >4 weeks of age.

Gram-Negative Rods
Graham-cracker Negative-devil with Rods

Klebsiella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas, and Legionella pneumophila are common gram-negative rods responsible for causing pneumonia in the elderly.


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