Pneumocystis Infection

  • Richard E. Sobonya


Pneumocystis is a microorganism that causes infection, primarily pneumonia, in immunosuppressed humans and other mammals. Both Chagas in 1909 and Carini in 1910 saw the pneumocystis organism in the lungs of experimental animals infected with trypanosomes. However, both regarded the cysts of Pneumocystis as part of the trypanosome’s life cycle. Shortly afterward the Delanöes reviewed this material and also noted the same cyst-like organism in the lungs of Parisian sewer rats. They recognized the organism as a separate species, and proposed the name Pneumocystis carinii for this organism, describing it in the generic name (Greek: pneumön, lung: kystis, “cyst”) and honoring Carini in the specific designation. At this time Pneumocystis was not recognized as a cause of human disease, although Chagas probably had seen a case of pneumocystis pneumonia in man. Dutz has recounted the discovery of pneumocystis in detail.1


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Pneumocystis Pneumonia Arch Pathol Diffuse Alveolar Damage 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

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  • Richard E. Sobonya

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