Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pneumocystis carinii

Synonym(s): P. carinii

Contributor(s): Ibulaimu Kakoma

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Phylum: Sarcomastigophora.
  • Subphylum: Sarcodina.
  • Genus: Pneumocystis.
  • Species: carinii.

Etymology

  • Greek: pneuma - wind, spirit, air; kustis - bladder.
  • Latin: carina - keel, ridge.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Main habitat - mammalian respiratory tract.

Lifecycle

  • Direct lifecycle.
  • Evaluation of RNA sequences suggests that P. carinii may be more closely related to fungi than protozoa.
  • Multiplies in lungs when host becomes immunosuppressed.

Transmission

  • Usually from infected to susceptible animal within species.
  • Infected aerosol.

Pathological effects

  • Majority disease seen in immunocompromised patients, eg human AIDS patients.
  • Usually confined to lung; pneumonia associated with large numbers P. carinii in alveolar spaces.
  • Interstitial pneumonia associated with large numbers of P. carinii organisms in alveolar spaces.

Other Host Effects

  • Most infections latent or subclinical.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

  • Trimethroprim-sulfonamide Trimethoprim.
  • Pentamidine is used as a prophylactic aerosol in human beings.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Masur H (1992) Prevention and treatment of pneumocystis pneumonia. New England J Med 3271853.
  • Farrow B R H et al (1972) Pneumocystis pneumonia in the dog. J Comparative Pathology 82, 447.

Other sources of information

  • Greene C E and Chandler F W (1990) Pneumocystosis. In: Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat. Ed: C E Greene. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 854-61.

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