Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)
is considered to be one of the most important infectious diseases in the world. The mortality risk of this infection is very high. In Germany approximately 680,000 people suffer from CAP every year. A significant number of these patients have to be treated in hospital.
However, despite this significant health and socio-economic importance reliable data concerning pathogen spectrums and antibiotic resistance patterns as well as the disease courses were largely lacking.
In 2001 the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) identified the need for comprehensive and coordinated research in this field and therefore initiated the excellence network for Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP).
This network aims at decreasing the disease burden of CAP. In order to achieve this diagnostics, therapy and patient care have to be improved.
CAPNETZ networks medical doctors, microbiologists, virologists, epidemiologists and computer scientists. Leading research facilities in Germany are cooperating within CAPNETZ. All the clinical and biological data are stored in a central material and data bank. In May 2012 nearly 10,000 patients had been included. About one third of these were outpatients, the other two thirds inpatients. Thus, CAPNETZ has the most comprehensive Community Acquired Pneumonia database worldwide.
CAPNETZ connects clinical, microbiological and basic research
aspects in order to gain new CAP pathogenesis knowledge focusing on
pathogen-host interaction. In the last 10 years CAPNETZ has successfully
provided information about the epidemiology and clinical management of
CAP in Germany.
S3-Guideline of CAP
The Community Acquired Pneumonia guideline, containing contributions by CAPNETZ, was released in the year 2005 and represents a milestone for medical care improvements in Germany.
The guideline contains the highest possible degree of evidence (scientific justification of a therapeutic recommendation) and is supported by all medical professional associations. It is regularly reviewed in order to adapt the recommendations to the current status of diagnostics and therapy and pathogen epidemiology and resistance situations. The second edition of the S3-Guideline was published in 2009.
The guideline contains essential CAPNETZ epidemiological research knowledge.
The guideline has been published in various scientific journals and is thus widely distributed within the medical community providing a clear directive for CAP management in Germany.