Web Zap*Germs Archive

July 11, 2004

Pneumonia Vaccine Also Cures Some Virus-induced Pneumonia Cases

Pneumonia is a leading killer of the elderly, children and others with lowered immunity. The illness is brought on both by bacterial and viral agents. Now a study of the effects of the pneumonia vaccine on 37,000 South African children has revealed that the vaccine not only kills the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, but is also effective in about one-third of viral pneumonia cases.

This evidence indicates that "bacteria and viruses can interact together to cause disease in humans," said Keith P. Klugman, a professor of infectious disease at Emory University in Atlanta who led the team of researchers.

Dr. Klugman also noted that the vaccine has good results against bacterial pneumonia in HIV-infected children, and also against strains that showed resistance to antibiotics.

The pneumonia vaccine protects not only against the classic lung infection, but also against some illnesses also caused by the pneumococcus bacteria, including meningitis, blood infections and ear infections.


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