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Immunol Res. 2011 Aug;50(2-3):175-80. doi: 10.1007/s12026-011-8218-x.

Pneumocystis infection and the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, E 1057 Biomedical Science Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. kan1@pitt.edu

Abstract

With increases in the immunocompromised patient population and aging of the HIV+ population, the risk of serious fungal infections and their complications will continue to rise. In these populations, infection with the fungal opportunistic pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Infection with Pneumocystis (Pc) has been shown to be associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in human subjects with and without HIV infection and in non-human primate models of HIV infection. In human studies and in a primate model of HIV/Pc co-infection, we have shown that antibody response to the Pc protein, kexin (KEX1), correlates with protection from colonization, Pc pneumonia, and COPD. These findings support the hypothesis that immunity to KEX1 may be critical to controlling Pc colonization and preventing or slowing development of COPD.

PMID:
21717077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3151531
Free PMC Article
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