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Pneumocystis Causes

The pneumocystis jirovecii fungus causes pneumocystis pneumonia, which usually people with weak immune systems, such as premature or severely malnourished children, the elderly, and especially persons with AIDS. Individuals who take immunosuppressant medications and those who underwent a bone marrow transplantation, may develop the disease.

Pneumocystis Definition

Pneumocystis pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii, which is a yeast-like fungus.

Pneumocystis Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia based on x-ray results, which show an increased pacity in the lower lungs on both sides. A definite diagnosis is confirmed by immunofluorescent or histochemical staining of the patient's sputum or bronchial washings, which show characteristic cysts.

Pneumocystis Symptoms and Signs

Affected individuals may have fever, non-productive cough, shortness of breath, weight loss, and night sweats. If there is no other bacterial infection, the patient does not discharge large amounts of sputum.

Pneumocystis Treatment

Patients are treated with antipneumocystic medication combined with concomitant steroids to avoid inflammation. If steroids are not used, symptoms will become sever after beginning treatment. However, some patients may develop allergies due to the medications. Most treatment is for a a period of 21 days. Pentamidine rarely used due to its high frequency of side effects such as acute pancreatitis, renal failure, hepatotoxicity, leukopenia, rash, fever, and hypoglycaemia.

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