Clinical Syndromes: Pneumocystis

  • Peter-Michael RathEmail author


Pneumocystis jirovecii is an opportunistic (fungal) pathogen, causing live threatening pulmonary infections in immunosuppressed patients. The diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms (fever, progressive dyspnea, dry cough), radiological findings (diffuse bilateral intestinal infiltrates), and laboratory abnormalities (hypercapnia, elevated lactate dehydrogenase, elevated (1-3)-ß-D-Glucan). Because these signs are more or less unspecific, the laboratory detection of the pathogen is essential. Since the organism is not cultivable on artificial media the diagnosis is based on the microscopic detection of cysts or trophozoites in deep respiratory material. Microscopic methods are replaced more and more by PCR systems. Because of a high incidence of colonization in asymptomatic individuals, results of quantitative assays are more helpful for clinicians than those of qualitative tests. First choice for prophylaxis and treatment is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity Hospital of EssenEssenGermany

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