2021 Feb 17. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP), now referred to as Pneumocystis Jirovecii Pneumonia is a fungal infection that most commonly affects the immunocompromised and, in some cases, can be severely life-threatening. Typically, patients at risk are those with any underlying disease states that alter host immunity such as those with cancer, the HIV, transplant recipients, or those taking immunosuppressive therapies and medications. Patients presenting with PCP may show signs of fever, cough, dyspnea, and, in severe cases, respiratory failure. Pneumocystis is thought to be transmitted from person to person through an airborne route. Asymptomatic lung colonization can occur in people with normal immune systems, and they may unknowingly become reservoirs (asymptomatic carriers) for the spread of Pneumocystis to immunocompromised individuals. Although it is still the most common and serious opportunistic respiratory infection in patients with AIDS, thanks to the widespread use of prophylaxis and antiretroviral therapy, the incidence of infection in this population has declined substantially.