Guidelines for the management of adult lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) were first published by a Task Force of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in 1998 . In 2005, a completely revised version was produced, this time by a joint Task Force of the ERS and the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) . They used up-to-date methodology for guideline development, including a transparent and objective systematic literature search strategy, and evidence and recommendation grading . Now, 6 yrs later, a joint Task Force of the two Societies, using the same methodology as in 2005, has produced a further update of these guidelines incorporating publications through to May 2010. The Task Force included an epidemiologist with expertise in guideline methodology and experts in the specialty areas relevant to LRTI management, including general practice, microbiology, infectious diseases, respiratory medicine, intensive care and public health.
A short version of the guidelines containing only the recommendations has now been published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection , with more detailed versions available on each Society’s website. The guidelines cover the breadth of adult community-acquired respiratory infection, including prevention (both vaccine- and nonvaccine-related), infections in the community and infections in those admitted to hospital, including pneumonia, exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and exacerbations of bronchiectasis. The web versions contain, in addition to guideline recommendations, detailed methodology, background sections on microbial causes, microbial resistance and its clinical relevance, pharmacokinetics, topic discussions relevant to each recommendation, and evidence grading of all references.
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