Issue: 2005 > September > special report

Revised SWAB guidelines for antimicrobial therapy of community-acquired pneumonia

J.A. Schouten, J.M. Prins, M.J. Bonten, J. Degener, R.E. Janknegt, J.M.R. Hollander, R.E. Jonkers, W.J. Wijnands, T.J. Verheij, A.P.E. Sachs, B.J. Kullberg


The Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (SWAB)
develops evidence-based guidelines, aimed at optimalisation of antibiotic use and limitation of the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
A revision of the SWAB guideline for the treatment of
community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), published in 1998, was considered necessary because of changes in resistance patterns and new insights into the epidemiology, diagnostics and treatment of CAP.
In contrast to the former version, this guideline is transmural and has been drawn up according to the recommendations for evidence-based guideline development by a multidisciplinary committee consisting of experts from all relevant professional societies. The severity of disease exhibited by the patient with pneumonia on admission is considered important for the choice of the optimum empirical treatment strategy. Severely ill patients are treated empirically with a drug directed against multiple potential pathogens, including <i>Legionella</i> spp.
Classification according to severity of disease can be
accomplished with a validated scoring system
(Pneumonia Severity Index or CURB-65 score) or pragmatically, based on the site of treatment: an outpatient setting, a clinical ward or an intensive care unit. The <i>Legionella</i> urine antigen test plays an important role in decisions on the choice of initial antibiotic treatment.