Laboratory methods for determining pneumonia etiology in children

David R. Murdoch, Katherine L. O'Brien, Amanda J. Driscoll, Ruth A. Karron, Niranjan Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Laboratory diagnostics are a core component of any pneumonia etiology study. Recent advances in diagnostic technology have introduced newer methods that have greatly improved the ability to identify respiratory pathogens. However, determining the microbial etiology of pneumonia remains a challenge, especially in children. This is largely because of the inconsistent use of assays between studies, difficulties in specimen collection, and problems in interpreting the presence of pathogens as being causally related to the pneumonia event. The laboratory testing strategy for the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study aims to incorporate a broad range of diagnostic testing that will be standardized across the 7 participating sites. We describe the current status of laboratory diagnostics for pneumonia and the PERCH approach for specimen testing. Pneumonia diagnostics are evolving, and it is also a priority of PERCH to collect and archive specimens for future testing by promising diagnostic methods that are currently under development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S146-S152
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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