ISSN 2398-2969      

Pneumocystosis

icanis
Contributor(s):

Kyle Braund


Introduction

  • Cause:Pneumocystis carinii Pneumocystis carinii is an ubiquitous protozoan parasite of animals and man that causes severe respiratory disease.
  • Immunocompromised humans are particularly at risk.
  • In dogs it seems to be a breed-associated condition and may be linked to a specific immunodeficiency although this has not been confirmed.
  • The zoonotic risk of pneumocystosis is unknown.
  • Signs: dyspnea.
  • Diagnosis: history, signs, radiography, bronchoalveolar lavage, fine needle aspiration, lung biopsy.
  • Treatment: chemotherapy.
  • Prognosis: poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General
  • Immunosuppression.

Pathophysiology

  • Pneumocystis carinii causes pulmonary disease in immunocompromised patients.
  • Underlying pathogenesis remains uncertain. However a recent study of 9 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels withPneumocystispneumonia demonstrated significantly lower [serum IgG] in affected animals than in control groups.
  • Latent infection can occur in dogs.
  • Clinical infection in dogs is generally limited to lung, although systemic spread is possible.
  • The organisms adhere to epithelial cells lining the alveoli without invading into deeper tissues.
  • Signs appear when organisms multiply to a sufficient extent to disrupt normal alveolar function.
  • The attendant inflammatory response may also contribute to clinical signs.

Timecourse

  • Weeks to months from first onset of signs to death.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Watson P J, Wotton P, Eastwood J, Swift S T, Jones B & Day M J (2006) Immunoglobulin deficiency in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Pneumocystis pneumonia. J Vet Intern Med 20 (3), 523-527 PubMed.
  • Lobetti R (2000) Common variable immunodeficiency in miniature Dachshunds affected with pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. J Vet Diag Invest 12 (1), 39-45 PubMed.
  • Kirberger R M, Lobetti R G (1998) Radiographic aspects of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in the miniature Dachshund. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 39 (4), 313-317 PubMed.
  • Ramsey I K et al (1997) Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in two Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Vet Rec 140 (14), 372-373 PubMed.
  • Sukura A et al (1997) Occurrence of pneumogystis carinii in canine distemper. Acta Vet Scand 38 (2), 201-205 PubMed.
  • Lobetti R G et al (1996) Pneumocystis carinii in the miniature Dachshund - case report and literature review. JSAP 37 (6), 280-285 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Greene C E (1998)Infectious diseases of dogs and cats.W B Saunders.

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