Difference Between Pneumonia and Lung Infection

In the case of a lung infection, numerous bacteria invade, proliferate, and then release their poisons into the patient's lungs. For this reason, the lung tissue becomes inflamed as a result of this pathogenic process. Pneumonia is a frequent lung illness.

What is Pneumonia?

When the lungs get infected, it can harm either the alveoli themselves or the tissue that surrounds them. Because of the inflammatory reaction brought on by the infection, the alveoli will fill with fluid (exudate or transudate). Pneumonia symptoms including coughing, fever, shortness of breath, etc., result.

Pneumonia often develops as a secondary consequence of an infection in the upper respiratory tract, with the inflammation spreading down the bronchial mucosa and eventually taking over the bronchial tree and the lung.

Pneumonia can be caused by −

  • Infectious agents – bacteria (aerobic and anaerobic), viruses (coronaviruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses), fungi and molds (Candida, Actinomyces, Aspergillus);

  • Chemical factors – irritant gases, aspiration of gastric juice;

  • Physical factors – radiation, trauma, foreign body in the bronchi;

Pneumonia can be of the following types −

  • Depending on the etiology – infectious and non-infectious pneumonia;

  • Depending on the presence of prior diseases – primary and secondary pneumonia;

  • Depending on the localization of the inflammatory process – alveolar and interstitial pneumonia;

  • Depending on the spread of the inflammatory process – lobar, lobular, segmental, unilateral, and bilateral pneumonia.

Pneumonia is characterized by a high body temperature, a cough that is wet and produces a lot of mucus (expectoration), chills, chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, extreme weariness, fast heart rate, and breathing, cyanosis, a lack of appetite and thirst, and vomiting. Not everyone who has pneumonia will experience every symptom. Pneumonia caused by these bacteria is called asymptomatic since the only symptom is a general feeling of unwellness. Because of this, a correct diagnosis may be elusive.

Medical history and physical examination are used to arrive at the diagnosis. X-rays are taken if doctors suspect pneumonia. Testing can be done on a bacterial, histological, or radiometric level

The treatment plan is based mostly on the underlying medical condition. Antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, fever reducers, pain relievers, and expectorants could be part of the mix. The treatment for aspiration pneumonia is to expel the offending foreign body.

What is Lung Infection?

Infections in the lungs can cause problems with the alveoli and/or the surrounding tissue (pneumonia), the bigger airways (bronchitis), or even the loss of lung tissue (emphysema) (tuberculosis).

Infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, fungus), chemical factors (irritant gases, aspiration of gastric juice), and physical factors (radiation, trauma, foreign material in the bronchi) can all contribute to lung infections.

Lung infections include −

  • Pneumonia − An inflammatory lung disease caused by streptococci, other bacteria, viruses, or rarely by other factors, affecting individually or simultaneously the pulmonary alveoli and the tissue that surrounds them.

  • Bronchitis − An acute or chronic inflammatory lung disease affecting the lungs and bronchi.

  • Tuberculosis − A specific chronic inflammatory disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which mainly affects the lungs, but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic vessels, digestive system, bones, joints, and even the skin. Most often it affects the upper lung.

Depending on the nature and source of an infection, people may experience a variety of different symptoms in their lungs. Common symptoms include chest pain and tension, a fever of 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, a dry or wet cough, nasal secretion, the presence of phlegm (sometimes tinged with blood), sneezing, a headache, aching muscles, exhaustion, shortness of breath, wheezing, respiratory distress, a loss of appetite, weight loss, chills, night sweats, gastrointestinal disorders, bluish skin, etc.

A patient's history and physical exam are used to confirm a diagnosis of lung infection. Getting an X-ray is standard procedure for diagnosing a lung infection. Testing can be done on a bacterial, histological, or radiometric level. A PPD tuberculin skin test is used to detect tuberculosis.

In most cases, identifying the root of a lung infection is the first step in effective therapy. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, antiviral medications are used to treat viral infections, antifungal drugs are used to treat fungal infections, and tuberculistatic drugs are used to treat TB. The signs and symptoms can be managed, and the immune system can be boosted, with the help of certain drugs.

Differences: Pneumonia and Lung Infection

The following table highlights the major differences between Pneumonia and Lung Infection −



Lung Infection


Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can damage either the alveoli themselves or the tissue around them.

Lung infection is caused by germs of various types colonising and multiplying within the lungs, and then releasing their noxious byproducts into the bloodstream.


Alveoli and/or interstitium are affected in pneumonia.

Infections of the lungs can have a variety of effects, including damage to lung tissue, inflammation of the airways, and even destruction of the alveoli and surrounding tissue (pneumonia) (tuberculosis).


Infectious and noninfectious pneumonia; alveolar and interstitial; alveolar and bronchial; lobar, lobular, segmental, unilateral, and bilateral pneumonia.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, and TB are all forms of lung infection.


Seizures and tremors are different neurological conditions that can affect movement and muscle control. Seizures are sudden, brief episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can cause a wide range of symptoms, while tremors are rhythmic, involuntary muscle contractions that cause a part of the body to shake or quiver.

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, while tremors can be caused by a variety of factors, including problems in the cerebellum, Parkinson's disease and other degenerative disorders.

Updated on: 10-Apr-2023


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