Pneumocystis Carinii infection

Apr 8th, 2015
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Study guide on Pneumocystis Carinii infection

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Pneumocystis carinii infectiondefinition A pneumonia arising in immunosuppressedpersons caused by Pneumocystis carinii (PCP) Pneumocystis carinii an opportunisticpathogen whose natural habitat is the lung. Pneumocystis is an opportunistic fungalpulmonary pathogen that is an importantcause of pneumonia in theimmunocompromised host.etiology Although organisms within the Pneumocystisgenus are morphologically very similar, theyare genetically diverse and host-specific. P. jirovecii infects humans, whereas P. cariniithe original species described in 1909-infectsratsCont, In the 1980s, biochemical analysis of the nucleicacid composition of Pneumocystis rRNA andmitochondrial DNA identified the organism as aunicellular fungus rather than a protozoa. Subsequent genomic sequence analysis ofmultiple genes including elongation factor 3, acomponent of fungi protein synthesis not foundin protozoa, further supported this notionepidemiology P. carinii is transmitted by the airborne route. On the basis of animal studies, the incubationperiod is thought to be 4 to 8 weeks. In HIV infected adults, PCP may occur at anyagepathogenesis Pneumocystis organisms are commonly found inthe lungs of healthy individuals. Most children are believed to have been exposedto the organism by age 3 or 4 years The host factors that predispose to thedevelopment of PcP include defects in cellularand humoral immunity. The r

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