Community-acquired pneumonia: New guideline published

Expert statement on the update of the guideline on community-acquired pneumonia


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is numerically the most frequent infectious disease in the world, whereby the mortality rate continues to be higher than it is, for example, for myocardial infarction. Even the COVID-19 disease triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is basically a CAP, for which the main rules for management of this form of pneumonia apply.

A regular update of the guideline on the prevention, diagnostics and therapy of CAP is therefore essential and will now be published in cooperation with a number of professional societies led by the German Respiratory Society.

A major advantage of such a guideline is that the Competence Network for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAPNETZ) regularly provides data on the epidemiology and current medical care situation of CAP in Germany and at the same time participates in innovative study concepts on respiratory infections and pneumonia. CAPNETZ, established in 2001, converted in 2008 into a foundation and in the meantime an associated partner of the German Center for Lung Research, is an internationally sought after cooperation partner and one of the few examples of long-term successful support from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

The update of the guideline has improved the previous 2016 version, particularly in that the guideline now centers on defined clinical situations, so that individualized therapy is the main focus of the recommendations. This was essentially attributable to a structured risk evaluation of those afflicted, which allows a more accurate determination of the severity of the disease and an individually customized selection of the initial antimicrobial therapy.

An integral part of the guideline is the early determination of the therapeutic objective, on the one hand adopting a curative therapy goal in order to reduce the lethality of the disease, and on the other hand adopting a palliative therapy goal to start a palliative therapy, a method which could also be transferred to other areas for use with the COVID-19 disease.

The guideline has been carefully developed with significant effort and includes the latest findings. On behalf of all authors, our thanks must go to the spokesperson of the guideline group,  Santiago Ewig from Bochum, for his great commitment to this work.

Text: T. Welte

Foto: Karin Kaiser/ MHH

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr. med. Tobias Welte, Direktor der Klinik für Pneumologie an der MHH, Direktor am DZL-Standort BREATH, Hannover