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Annu Rev Med. 1994;45:261-72.

Pathogenesis and host response in Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.


Pneumocystis carinii (PC) pneumonia is recognized as the leading cause of opportunistic pulmonary infections in immunocompromised hosts during the past decade. Although much remains unknown about pathogenesis and host response in PC, recent years, studies of PC have provided us with an increasing base of knowledge about this organism and its relationship to the host. These studies have led to a better understanding of mechanisms of PC attachment and injury to host cells. New information about the interaction of PC with pulmonary surfactant provides insight about the pathophysiology of PC pneumonia. The interplay of the organism, host inflammatory cells, release of cytokines, generation of toxic metabolites, and involvement of both cellular and humoral immunity is complex, but understanding the pathogenesis of PC pneumonia is necessary in order to develop new therapies for this disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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