The fungus Pneumocystis carinii, which rarely if ever causes illness in otherwise healthy people, can cause potentially fatal pneumonia in patients with defects of cell-mediated immunity resulting, for example, from chemotherapy or immunosuppression after organ transplantation. P. carinii pneumonia also occurs in up to 85% of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS),1 in many of whom it is the first manifestation of the disease.2 This article discusses the prevention and treatment of P. carinii pneumonia in adults infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
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