Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) or pneumocystosis is a form of pneumonia, caused by the yeast-like fungus (which had previously been erroneously classified as a protozoan) Pneumocystis jirovecii. The older name Pneumocystis carinii,, (which now only applies to the Pneumocystis species that is found in rats), is still in common usage. As a result, Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is also known as Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia and (incorrectly) asPneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
PROMINENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of PCP include fever, non-productive cough (because sputum is too viscous to become productive), shortness of breath (especially on exertion), weight loss, and night sweats. There is usually not a large amount of sputum with PCP unless the patient has an additional bacterial infection. The fungus can invade other visceral organs (such as theliver, spleen, and kidney), but only in a minority of cases. Pneumothorax is a well-known complication of PCP. An acute history of chest pain with breathlessness and diminished breath sounds is typical of pneumothorax
The disease PCP is relatively rare in people with normal immune systems, but common among people with weakened immune systems, such as premature or severely malnourished children, the elderly, and especially persons living with HIV/AIDS (in whom it is most commonly observed). PCP can also develop in patients who are taking immunosuppressive medications. It can occur in patients who have undergone solid organ transplantation or bone marrow transplantation and after surgery. Infections with Pneumocystis pneumonia are also common in infants with hyper IgM syndrome, an X-linked or autosomal recessive trait.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION
Host to host transmission has been described in animal studies and in cluster cases among immunodeﬁcient patients. P carinii DNA has
TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE YOU CHOSE
The first choice for treatment is usually...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document