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Identifying the 5 Major Types of Pneumonia by Cause

Pneumonia is when one or both of the lungs become infected, causing inflammation in the air sacs of the lungs, known as the alveoli. When these alveoli are infected, they can fill with pus or fluid, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Pneumonia isn’t one single condition, however; there are a variety of different types that are classified based on what caused the infection, where it was contracted, or how it was acquired. In this article, we’ll be looking at the five major types of pneumonia by the type of germ.

1. Bacterial Pneumonia

This type of pneumonia is caused by—you guessed it—bacteria. The most common strain is Streptococcus pneumonia; however, it can also be caused by Chlamydophila pneumonia and Legionella pneumophila. Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can include fever, chest pain, and an increased heart rate.

According to The Johns Hopkins University, this type of pneumonia generally occurs “when the body is weakened in some way, such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able to work their way into the lungs.” It can affect people of any age, but the source says those who smoke, abuse alcohol, or have respiratory illness or infection are at greater risk.

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