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Methods for the identification and selection of patients (cases) with severe or very severe pneumonia and controls for the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) project were needed. Issues considered include eligibility criteria and sampling strategies, whether to enroll hospital or community controls, whether to exclude controls with upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) or nonsevere pneumonia, and matching criteria, among others. PERCH ultimately decided to enroll community controls and an additional human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected control group at high HIV-prevalence sites matched on age and enrollment date of cases; controls with symptoms of URTI or nonsevere pneumonia will not be excluded. Systematic sampling of cases (when necessary) and random sampling of controls will be implemented. For each issue, we present the options that were considered, the advantages and disadvantages of each, the rationale for the methods selected for PERCH, and remaining implications and limitations.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date



54 Suppl 2


S117 - S123


Bias, Case-Control Studies, Child Welfare, Child, Hospitalized, Child, Preschool, Epidemiologic Research Design, HIV Infections, Humans, Infant, Patient Selection, Pneumonia, Prevalence, Respiratory Tract Infections