Pneumocystis carinii and Parasitic Infections in the Immunocompromised Host

  • Jay Alan Fishman


International travel and shifting patterns of immigration have increased the importance of awareness of the major clinical syndromes associated with infections due to parasites. In the immunocompromised individual, life-threatening infection may emerge decades after a forgotten exposure in an endemic area. Most clinicians have some familiarity with the major clinical syndromes associated with malaria, Chagas’ disease, giardiasis, amebiasis, or the helminthic diseases. The spectrum of immune deficits is almost as broad as the tens of thousands of species of parasites to which humans are exposed. However, prior to the recognition of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), important parasites in the immunocompromised host were largely limited to infections with Toxoplasma gondii, Pneumocystis carinii, Strongyloides stercoralis, and occasionally babesiosis or malaria related to transfusions in splenectomized patients. Many new human parasites, both pathogens and nonpathogens of the normal host, must now be added to this list [see Table 1 (Section 1.2)]. The presence, progression, and manifestations of some parasitic diseases are altered by immune compromise. These organisms provide the focus of this discussion.


Visceral Leishmaniasis Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Tissue Cyst Ocular Toxoplasmosis Amebic Liver Abscess 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Alan Fishman
    • 1
  1. 1.Infectious Disease Unit, Medical Service and Transplantation Unit, Surgical Service, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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