Title: “Etiology of Childhood Pneumonia in India: an ICMR Task Force Study”

Funder: Indian Council of Medical Research

Objective: The Primary Objective of the study is to estimate the relative prevalence of selected bacterial and viral pathogens in cases with clinically diagnosed community acquired severe pneumonia and in healthy controls among children aged 29 days to 59 months of age. The Secondary objectives are, “To identify clinical characteristics at presentation that correlate with bacterial versus viral etiology among children with severe community acquired pneumonia, To establish robust and practical diagnostic methods for determining etiology of childhood pneumonia utilizing a standardized protocol and To develop a repository of bacteriological samples and isolates of key pathogens associated with pneumonia.” Pneumonia is the leading cause of child mortality in India. The management of pneumonias should be based on etiology for which there is lack of adequate data from India. There is no systematically collected data on etiological agents of pneumonia. This study is carried out as multicenter case control study involving 5 sites across India, with the objective of determining the etiology of severe pneumonia in children 29 days to 59 months old. We recruited infants and children aged 1-59 months with severe pneumonia, presenting to hospitals. Blood samples and nasopharyngeal swabs was taken from cases and controls (NP swabs), to identify bacterial and viral micro-organisms, using routine and state-of-the art laboratory techniques. We also propose to identity clinical characteristics that predict bacterial versus viral etiology. The public health importance of this project is that this project will provide epidemiologic data on etiologic agents and strengthen capacity of site laboratories as nodal centers in the country. Determination of etiology will facilitate evidence-based preventive strategies for immunization against vaccine-preventable causes, as well as rational antimicrobial therapy. The outcome of the study is Viral and Bacterial Etiology of Severe and Very-severe pneumonia cases.

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