Which organisms are etiologic agents of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)?

Updated: Apr 15, 2021
  • Author: Kartika Shetty, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Organisms associated with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) include the following:

  • P aeruginosa
  • S Aureus, including MSSA and MRSA
  • S maltophilia
  • Acinetobacter species
  • Enterobacteriaceae are less commonly seen in VAP than in hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP)

These organisms are commonly recovered from respiratory secretions in patients with VAP. [11]  The recovery of a respiratory pathogen from respiratory secretions does not establish it as the cause of nosocomial pneumonia. MSSA/MRSA frequently colonize respiratory secretions in intubated patients but rarely, if ever, cause nosocomial pneumonia/VAP. In contrast, MSSA/MRSA may cause community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in those with influenza. Anaerobic organisms are not important pathogens in nosocomial pneumonia. (See Differentials in Nosocomial Pneumonia.)

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