Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) or pneumocystosis is a form of pneumonia, caused by the yeast-like fungus, which had previously been classified as a protozoan, Pneumocystis jirovecii. This pathogen is specific to humans; it has not been shown to infect other animals, while other species of Pneumocystis that parasitize other animals have not been shown to infect humans. Pneumocystis is commonly found in the lungs of healthy people. The PCP disease is relatively rare in people with normal immune systems, but being a source of opportunistic infection it can cause a lung infection of people with a weak immune system, such as premature or severely malnourished children, the elderly and especially people with HIV/AIDS, in whom it is most commonly observed. PCP can also develop in patients who are taking immunosuppressive medications (patients after solid organ or bone marrow transplantation and after surgery). Infections with Pneumocystis are also common in infants with hyper IgM syndrome. 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 the liver, 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 are typical of pneumothorax.
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|AmpliSens® Pneumocystis jirovecii (carinii)-FRT PCR kit
Real-Time Reverse transcription Fluorescent End-Point Reagents in stock tubes Ready-to-use PCR tubes
on request available