[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a prospective pilot study over a 1-year period in New Caledonia in preparation for the Pneumonia Research for Child Health (PERCH) project. The pathogens associated with hospitalized lower respiratory infections in children were identified through the use of culture of induced sputum and blood, urinary antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on respiratory specimens, and serology on paired sera. Respiratory viruses were detected on respiratory specimens by immunofluorescence and PCR, and by serology on paired sera. Pathogens were detected in 87.9% of the 108 hospitalized cases. Viruses represented 81.6% of the 152 pathogens detected. Respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus were the most frequent, accounting for 32.2% and 24.3% of the pathogens identified, respectively. Only 26.3% of 99 induced sputum specimens collected were determined to be of good quality, which may be a consequence of the collection method used.