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Atypical Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Other bacteria can cause pneumonia, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae, Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) psittaci, and Legionella pneumophila. These bacteria are referred to as “atypical” because pneumonia caused by these organisms might have slightly different symptoms, appear different on Xray, and respond to different antibiotics than the typical bacteria that cause pneumonia. Even though these infections are called “atypical,” they are not uncommon.

Common Types of Pneumonia Caused by Atypical Bacteria

  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae Infection
    This illness, caused by Chlamydophila (or Chlamydia) pneumoniae, is most common in school-aged children and usually develops into mild pneumonia or bronchitis…
  • Legionnaires’ Disease
    Legionella pneumophila causes more than 90% of outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia…
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection
    This generally mild illness is a common cause of “walking pneumonia”…
  • Psittacosis
    People get this sometimes serious illness, caused by Chlamydophila (or Chlamydia) psittaci, from infected pet birds (parrots, parakeets) and poultry (turkeys, ducks)…

How Do You Say That?

Find pronunciation guides below for common words associated with atypical pneumonia.

  • Bronchitis — brahn-KITE-uss
  • Chlamydia — klah-MID-e-a
  • Chlamydophila —klah-mid-OFF-a-lah
  • Legionella — lee-juh-NELL-a
  • Legionnaires — lee-juh-NAIRS
  • Mycoplasma — MY-ko-plaz-ma
  • Pneumonia — noo-MOAN-yah
  • Pneumoniae — noo-MOAN-e-a
  • Psittaci — SIT-ah-see
  • Psittacosis — sit-ah-KOH-sis
  • Pneumophila — noo-MAH-fil-ah
  • Streptococcus — strep-toe-KAH-kuss
  • Tracheobronchitis — TRAY-key-o-brahn-KITE-uss