Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an increasing problem amongst patients on immunosuppression with autoimmune inflammatory disorders (AID). The disease presents acutely and its diagnosis requires bronchoalveolar lavage in most cases. Despite treatment with intravenous antibiotics, PCP carries a worse prognosis in AID patients than HIV positive patients. The overall incidence of PCP in patients with AID remains low, although patients with Wegener's granulomatosis are at particular risk.
In adults with AID, the risk of PCP is related to treatment with systemic steroid, ill-defined individual variation in steroid sensitivity and CD4+ lymphocyte count. Rather than opting for PCP prophylaxis on the basis of disease or treatment with cyclophosphamide, we argue the case for carrying out CD4+ lymphocyte counts on selected patients as a means of identifying individuals who are most likely to benefit from PCP prophylaxis.
Corticosteroids, lymphopenia and a low CD4+ count in particular, have been identified as risk factors for the development of PCP in adults with AID. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole) is an effective prophylactic agent, but indications for its use remain ill-defined. Further prospective trials are required to validate our proposed prevention strategy.
The use of semiquantitative PCR (SQPCR) to assess Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) infection and its response to treatment was studied with rats. Groups of eight rats were immunosuppressed with steroids for 3 to 12 weeks. Untreated controls were maintained for the same periods. Three groups of rats were treated with pentamidine, three groups were treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and three groups of rats were tapered from steroids. At various times during suppression, rats from the different groups were sacrificed. At necropsy, lungs were lavaged to obtain bronchoalveolar fluids and then homogenized. Bronchoalveolar fluids and homogenates were assayed by cyst counting and SQPCR. An increase in the SQPCR signal was seen throughout immunosuppression, with a slow decrease upon the withdrawal of steroids and a faster decrease with drug treatment. SQPCR results with lung homogenates and bronchoalveolar fluids strongly correlated with each other and with cyst counts. These results warrant investigation of SQPCR for assessing treatment results of human P. carinii pneumonia infection.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is characterized by the formation of leaky alveoli and a foamy alveolar exudate. To induce PCP, male Wistar rats were immunosuppressed by oral dexamethasone treatment for 12 weeks, during which time all rats developed PCP. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was analyzed at that time and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after the cessation of dexamethasone treatment, during which time the rats were recovering from PCP and immunosuppression (and was compared with the BALF obtained from healthy control rats), for type IV collagenase, elastase, cathepsin G, and collagenase activities. Scores for 72-kDa (matrix metalloproteinase type [MMP-2]) and 92-kDa (MMP-9) type IV collagenase-gelatinase activities correlated with those for BALF macrophages (r = 0.58; P < 0.001) and neutrophils (r = 0.66; P < 0.001), respectively, suggesting that they may, in part, be derived from these cells. However, MMP-2 was constitutively expressed and may play a role in normal tissue remodeling. MMP-9 activity was highest in the group with PCP (1.8 +/- 0.37; P > 0.05), with a gradual decline (1.0 +/- 0.48 by week 4; P > 0.05) toward normal (0.67 +/- 0.42) during recovery, which suggests a role for it in tissue-destructive inflammatory events. In rats with PCP the endogenously active collagenase was present at high levels compared with those in healthy controls (2.6 +/- 0.69 versus 0.17 +/- 0.17, respectively; P < 0.01), but they returned to normal by week 4 of recovery (0.42 +/- 0.30; P > 0.05). Collagenase activity showed a correlation with cyst number (r = 0.57; P < 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) remains a serious opportunistic infection in HIV infected individuals. Seasonal changes in climate are associated with changes within individual susceptibility to infection. The possibility of monthly variability in the incidence of PCP was therefore examined by means of a cohort study of a database of 8640 HIV infected individuals attending the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. There were 792 cases of PCP diagnosed since 1985. A marked decline was observed in the incidence of PCP in mid-1992 coincident with the introduction of PCP prophylaxis. There was a further decline in 1996 after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Despite no significant monthly variation in the mean attendance to clinic and CD4 count, both new and all cases of PCP were higher in January than in other months (15.9% and 14.5% of all cases, respectively). A correlation with low rainfall in January and new cases of PCP was observed. These data are consistent with an influence of climatic conditions on the presentation of PCP. The diagnosis of PCP is more common in winter months suggesting that this is a transmissible infection.
The prevalence of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in humans caused by more than a single genotype has been reported to range from 10 to 67%, depending on the method used for detection (3, 19). Most coinfections were associated with primary rather than recurrent disease. To better understand the factors influencing the development of coinfections, the time periods between inoculations and the genotype of the infecting organisms were evaluated in the chronically immunosuppressed-inoculated rat model of PCP. P. carinii f. sp. carinii infecting rats differentiated by karyotypic profiles exhibit the same low level of genetic divergence manifested by organisms infecting humans. P. carinii f. sp. carinii karyotype forms 1, 2, and 6 were inoculated into immunosuppressed rats, individually and in dual combinations, spaced 0, 10, and 20 days apart. Infections comprised of both organism forms resulted from admixtures inoculated at the same time. In contrast, coinfections did not develop in most rats, where a 10- or 20-day gap was inserted between inoculations; only the first organism form inoculated was detected by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis in the resultant infection. Organism burdens were reduced with combinations of forms 1 and 2 spaced 20 days apart but not in rats inoculated with forms 1 and 6. A role for the host response in the elimination of the second population and in reduction of the organism burden was suggested by the lack of direct killing of forms 1 and 2 in an in vitro ATP assay, by reduction of the burden by autoclaved organisms, and by the specific reactions of forms 1 and 2 but not forms 1 and 6. These studies showed that the time between inoculations was critical in establishing coinfections and P. carinii f. sp. carinii karyotype profiles were associated with differences in biological responses. This model provides a useful method for the study of P. carinii coinfections and their transmission in humans.
BACKGROUND--This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of a simplified exercise test in the differential diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). METHODS--Forty five subjects with antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and pneumonia were included and divided into two groups: those with PCP and those with "other pneumonias" (non-PCP). The test involved pedalling for two minutes on a stretcher bed and was considered positive if SaO2 decreased by at least 3%. RESULTS--During the exercise the mean(SE) SaO2 fell in patients with PCP from 88(4)% to 84(3)%, p < 0.01, whilst it improved slightly in subjects with non-PCP from 91(1)% to 93(3)%, p < 0.05. Sensitivity was 77% and specificity 91%. CONCLUSIONS--This simple test seems potentially useful for the initial investigation of HIV antibody positive patients with pneumonia.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) has rarely been reported in solid tumor patients. It is a well-known complication in immunosuppressed states including acquired immune deficiency syndrome and hematologic malignancy. PCP has been reported in solid tumor patients who received long-term steroid treatment due to brain or spinal cord metastases. We found 3 gastric cancer patients with PCP, who received only dexamethasone as an antiemetic during chemotherapy. The duration and cumulative dose of dexamethasone used in each patient was 384 mg/48 days, 588 mg/69 days, and 360 mg/42 days, respectively. These cases highlight that the PCP in gastric cancer patients can successfully be managed through clinical suspicion and prompt treatment. The cumulative dose and duration of dexamethasone used in these cases can be basic data for risk of PCP development in gastric cancer patients during chemotherapy.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia; Gastric cancer; Chemotherapy
This is a retrospective review of patients admitted to an inner city community hospital with community-acquired pneumonia who were ultimately diagnosed with AIDS and Pneumocystis. Absolute lymphocyte count in our hospital is available immediately. In contrast, it can take 48 hours or longer to obtain more specific CD-4 counts and AIDS enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) serology. The association of lymphopenia with ultimate diagnosis of AIDS and Pneumocystis supports immediate empiric treatment for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in our highly HIV prevalent hospital.
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a Western blot analysis were developed to study the antibody response to Pneumocystis carinii in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from 27 human immunodeficiency virus 27 (HIV)-infected patients with P. carinii pneumonia (Pcp), 32 patients without Pcp, and 51 HIV-negative controls. Urea was used for the correct dilution of epithelial lining fluid, and albumin was used to evaluate transudation from plasma for the assessment of local production of antibodies to P. carinii. By contrast with those of immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA responses to P. carinii were increased in serum from HIV-positive patients compared to negative controls. Local production of antibodies to P. carinii, especially IgA, was decreased in patients with Pcp. In a study of 10 patients of each group, IgG and IgA responses to gp116 from P. carinii were lower in patients with Pcp than in other groups. These results suggest that, in addition to alveolar macrophages, local antibodies may play a role in host defense against P. carinii.
Low-dose trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) alone was found to be as effective as low-dose TMP-SMX plus zidovudine and standard-dose TMP-SMX alone in preventing and treating Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in an immunosuppressed-rat model. Zidovudine alone had no preventive or curative effect on PCP. We conclude that the initially reported reduced incidence of PCP in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients treated with zidovudine alone is not due to anti-P. carinii activity of zidovudine. Furthermore, the clinical efficacy of low-dose TMP-SMX for the prevention and treatment of PCP should be further investigated.
Mice were thymectomized and depleted of CD4+ lymphocytes by treatment with monoclonal antibody to induce Pneumocystis carinii (PC) pneumonia (PCP). These mice were then exposed to aerosols of heat-treated Escherichia coli three times a week. Aerosol treatment for 10 d caused a slight reduction in numbers of PC nuclei in the lungs of mice, and treatment for 22 d resulted in nearly complete resolution of PCP. Large numbers of macrophages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and lymphocytes accumulated in lungs of aerosol-treated mice. Depletion of either CD8+ lymphocytes or asialo GM1+ cells that remained in the mice after CD4+ cell depletion had no effect on the ability of the mice to resolve PCP after E. coli aerosol treatments. However, depletion of Thy-1+ lymphocytes in these mice abrogated their ability to resolve PCP and reduced the numbers of macrophages that accumulated in the lungs. In addition, it was found that resolution of PCP induced by heat-treated E. coli aerosol treatments was also abrogated when mice were treated with polyclonal antibodies against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF- alpha). Thus, resolution of PCP in CD4+ lymphocyte-depleted mice by heat-treated E. coli aerosols was not dependent on either CD8+ or asialo GM1+ cells but was dependent on Thy-1+CD4-CD8- lymphocytes and on the participation of TNF. These results indicate that heat-treated E. coli aerosols can act as an immune response modifier by inducing resolution of PCP in mice by a mechanism not dependent on the presence of CD4+ lymphocytes.
Immune reconstitution disease occurs in 10% to 25% of patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy, and is considered to be a risk factor for the development of granulomatous Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP), which is an uncommon form of pneumocystis infection. Most commonly described in HIV patients with low CD4+ counts, granulomatous PCP develops insidiously and presents with minimal symptoms. This report describes a case of granulomatous PCP involving a 40-year-old HIV-positive man, and highlights the difficulty in its diagnosis and the need to consider PCP in HIV patients when initiating therapy.
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia uncommonly presents with pulmonary nodules and granulomatous inflammation. An unusual case of granulomatous P jiroveci pneumonia in an HIV patient with a CD4+ lymphocyte count of greater than 200 cells/mm3, occurring in the context of immune reconstitution with highly active antiretroviral therapy, is described. The case highlights the importance of establishing this diagnosis to institute appropriate therapy.
HIV/AIDS; Immune reconstitution disease; Multiple pulmonary nodules; Pneumocystis jiroveci
A rapid (time to completion, <4 h, including DNA extraction) and quantitative touch-down (QTD) real-time diagnostic Pneumocystis carinii PCR assay with an associated internal control was developed, using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes for detection. The touch-down procedure significantly increased the sensitivity of the assay compared to a non-touch-down procedure. Tenfold serial dilutions of a cloned target were used as standards for quantification. P. carinii DNA has been detected in respiratory specimens from patients with P. carinii pneumonia (PCP) and from patients without clinical evidence of PCP. The latter probably represents colonization or subclinical infection. It is logical to hypothesize that quantification might prove helpful in distinguishing between infected and colonized patients: the latter group would have lower copy numbers than PCP patients. A blinded retrospective study of 98 respiratory samples (49 lower respiratory tract specimens and 49 oral washes), from 51 patients with 24 episodes of PCP and 34 episodes of other respiratory disease, was conducted. PCR-positive samples from colonized patients contained a lower concentration of P. carinii DNA than samples from PCP patients: lower respiratory tract samples from PCP and non-PCP patients contained a median of 938 (range, 2.4 to 1,040,000) and 2.6 (range, 0.3 to 248) (P < 0.0004) copies per tube, respectively. Oral washes from PCP and non-PCP patients contained a median of 49 (range, 2.1 to 2,595) and 6.5 (range, 2.2 to 10) (P < 0.03) copies per tube, respectively. These data suggest that this QTD PCR assay can be used to determine if P. carinii is present in respiratory samples and to distinguish between colonization and infection.
To evaluate the value of single and nested PCRs for diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in a variety of respiratorily distressed patient groups, 574 respiratory samples from 334 patients (89 human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]-positive patients, 61 transplant recipients, 66 malignancy patients, 34 otherwise immunosuppressed patients, and 84 immunocompetent patients) were prospectively examined by microscopy and single and nested PCRs. The resulting data were correlated with clinical evidence of PCP. Microscopy and single PCR of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens from HIV patients were 100% sensitive and specific in detecting PCP, whereas nested PCR, although being 100% sensitive, reached a specificity of only 97.5%. In the three non-HIV immunosuppressed patient groups, both single and nested PCR invariably produced lower positive predictive values than microscopy. Among immunocompetent patients, the positive predictive values of both PCRs were 0%. Therefore, the diagnostic values of the PCR methods tested do not seem to offer any additional advantage compared to that of conventional microscopy for these patient groups. However, nested PCR identified a significant percentage of clinically silent P. carinii colonizations in about 17 to 20% of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed non-HIV patients.
The opportunistic organism Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) produces a life-threatening pneumonia (PcP) in patients with low CD4+ T cell counts. Animal models of HIV-AIDS-related PcP indicate that development of severe disease is dependent on the presence of CD8+ T cells and the tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFR), TNFRsf1a and TNFRsf1b. To distinguish roles of parenchymal and hematopoietic cell TNF signaling in PcP-related lung injury, murine bone marrow transplant chimeras of wild-type, C57Bl6/J, and TNFRsf1a/1b double null origin were generated, CD4+ T-cell depleted, and inoculated with Pc. As expected, C57→C57 chimeras (donor marrow→recipient) developed significant disease as assessed by weight loss, impaired pulmonary function (lung resistance and dynamic lung compliance) and inflammatory cell infiltration. In contrast, TNFRsf1a/1b-/-→TNFRsf1a/1b-/- mice were relatively mildly affected despite carrying the greatest organism burden. Mice solely lacking parenchymal TNFRs (C57→TNFRsf1a/1b-/-) had milder disease than C57→C57 mice. Both groups of mice with TNFR deficient parenchymal cells had low BALF total cell counts and fewer lavagable CD8+ T cells than C57→C57 mice, suggesting that parenchymal TNFR signaling contributes to PcP-related immunopathology through the recruitment of damaging immune cells. Interestingly, mice with WT parenchymal cells but TNFRsf1a/1b-/- hematopoietic cells (TNFRsf1a/1b-/-→C57) displayed exacerbated disease characterized by increased MCP-1 and KC production in the lung and increased macrophage and lymphocyte numbers in the lavage, indicating a dysregulated immune response. This study supports a key role of parenchymal cell TNFRs in lung injury induced by Pc and a potential protective effect of receptors on radio-sensitive, marrow derived cells.
cytokine receptors; fungal; immunodeficiency disease; lung
Water-soluble pneumocandin L-693,989, a potent antipneumocystis agent in the rat model for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), inhibits P. carinii cyst development and effectively prevents the development of PCP when used as a prophylactic agent (D. M. Schmatz, M. A. Powles, D. C. McFadden, L. Pittarelli, J. Balkovec, M. Hammond, R. Zambias, P. Liberator, and J. Anderson, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 36:1964-1970, 1992). However, because of limited oral bioavailability, this compound would likely be restricted to parenteral use in humans. As an alternative, the aerosol delivery of L-693,989 was explored to determine the dosing regimen required to prevent the onset of PCP. Rats with latent P. carinii infections were immunosuppressed continuously with dexamethasone to promote the onset of PCP. During the 6-week immunosuppression period, L-693,989 was delivered to rats as a nebulized solution (volume median diameter of 3.8 microns) via a nose exposure inhalation chamber. The efficiency of aerosol delivery to the lungs and the rate of clearance were determined by using radiolabelled compound. It was found that a daily dose of 0.7 micrograms of L-693,989 per lung or a weekly dose of 77.9 micrograms/lung effectively prevented the development of P. carinii cysts and trophozoites as well as the associated pneumonia commonly seen in rats with acute P. carinii infections. These results demonstrate that L-693,989 is potentially useful as an aerosol prophylactic agent for PCP.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) develops in immunocompromised patients. Alveolar macrophages play a key role in the recognition, phagocytosis, and degradation of Pneumocystis, but their number is decreased in PcP. Our study of various inflammatory components during PcP found that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulate in the lungs of mice and rats with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). We hypothesized that treatment with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a metabolite of vitamin A, may effectively control Pneumocystis (Pc) infection by inducing MDSCs to differentiate to AMs. In rodent models of PcP, we found that 5 weeks of ATRA treatment reduced the number of MDSCs in the lungs and increased the number of AMs which cleared Pc infection. We also found that ATRA in combination with primaquine was as effective as the combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethaxazole for treatment of PcP and completely eliminated MDSCs and Pc organisms in the lungs in two weeks. No relapse of PcP was seen after three weeks of the ATRA-primaquine combination treatment. Prolonged survival of Pc-infected animals was also achieved by this regimen. This is the very first successful development of a therapeutic regimen for PcP that combines an immune modulator with an antibiotic, enabling the hosts to effectively defend the infection. Results of our study may serve as a model for development of novel therapies for other infections with MDSC accumulation.
We report the case of a 21-year-old man who was noted to have pneumomediastinum during an admission for an acute flare of ulcerative colitis. At that time, he was on maintenance treatment with azathioprine at a dose of 1.25 mg/kg per day, and had not received supplementary steroids for 9 mo. He had never received anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α therapy. Shortly after apparently effective treatment with intravenous steroids and an increased dose of azathioprine, he developed worsening colitic and new respiratory symptoms, and was diagnosed with Pneumocystis jiroveci (carinii) pneumonia (PCP). Pneumomediastinum is rare in immunocompetent hosts, but is a recognized complication of PCP in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients, although our patient’s HIV test was negative. Treatment of PCP with co-trimoxazole resulted in resolution of both respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, without the need to increase the steroid dose. There is increasing vigilance for opportunistic infections in patients with inflammatory bowel disease following the advent of anti-TNFα therapy. This case emphasizes the importance of considering the possibility of such infections in all patients with inflammatory bowel disease, irrespective of the immunosuppressants they receive, and highlights the potential of steroid-responsive opportunistic infections to mimic worsening colitic symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis.
Pneumocystis jiroveci; Ulcerative colitis; Pneumomediastinum; Azathioprine; Corticosteroids
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is one of the most predominant opportunistic infectious diseases in patients with AIDS. Nested PCR has been described as a sensitive and specific tool for detecting P. carinii DNA in clinical specimens. Little is known about the correlation of positive PCR results and clinical evidence of PCP in patients with different forms of immunosuppression. One hundred and thirty-six sputum samples, 26 tracheal-bronchial aspirate samples, 35 bronchoalveolar lavage samples, and 11 lung biopsy samples from (i) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with AIDS, (ii) immunocompromised patients with leukemia or lymphoma, and (iii) immunocompetent control patients were investigated by a nested PCR amplifying DNA from the mitochondrial large subunit of P. carinii. All patients suffered from acute episodes of respiratory disease. The resulting data were correlated with clinical evidence of PCP. A high degree of association of positive P. carinii PCR results and clinical evidence of PCP in HIV-infected patients with AIDS was found. When calculated for bronchoalveolar lavage and lung biopsy samples, the positive and the negative predictive values of P. carinii PCR for PCP diagnosis in HIV-infected patients with AIDS were 1 and the specificity and the sensitivity were 100%. In contrast, in the group of patients with leukemia or lymphoma, the positive predictive value of the nested PCR for these materials was found to be as low as 0.09, the negative predictive value was 0.73, the specificity was 44.4%, and the sensitivity was 25.0%. No P. carinii DNA could be detected in specimens from immunocompetent patients. In summary, in contrast to patients with leukemia and lymphoma, nested PCR seems to be a sensitive and specific tool for PCP diagnosis in HIV-infected patients with AIDS.
Molecular evidence indicates that P. jirovecii may be nosocomially transmitted to severely immunosuppressed patients.
Ten Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) cases were diagnosed in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) during a 3-year period. Nosocomial transmission from HIV-positive patients with PCP was suspected because these patients shared the same hospital building, were not isolated, and were receiving suboptimal anti-PCP prophylaxis or none. P. jirovecii organisms were typed with the multitarget polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism method. Among the 45 patients with PCP hospitalized during the 3-year period, 8 RTRs and 6 HIV-infected patients may have encountered at least 1 patient with active PCP within the 3 months before the diagnosis of their own PCP episode. In six instances (five RTRs, one HIV-infected patient), the patients harbored the same P. jirovecii molecular type as that found in the encountered PCP patients. The data suggest that part of the PCP cases observed in this building, particularly those observed in RTRs, were related to nosocomial interhuman transmission.
Epidemiology; Pneumocystis carinii; Pneumocystis jirovecii; interhuman transmission; cluster analysis; sulfa drug resistance; dihydropteroate synthase; single-strand conformation polymorphism; PCP; research
We examined mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) genes of Pneumocystis carinii f. sp. hominis (P. carinii) strains isolated from 24 patients with P. carinii pneumonia (PCP) in Japan. DHPS mutations were identified at amino acid positions 55 and/or 57 in isolates from 6 (25.0%) of 24 patients. The underlying diseases for these six patients were human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection (n = 4) or malignant lymphoma (n = 2). This frequency was almost the same as those reported in Denmark and the United States. None of the six patients whose isolates had DHPS mutations were recently exposed to sulfa drugs before they developed the current episode of PCP, suggesting that DHPS mutations not only are selected by the pressure of sulfa agents but may be incidentally acquired. Co-trimoxazole treatment failed more frequently in patients whose isolates had DHPS mutations than in those whose isolates had wild-type DHPS (n = 4 [100%] versus n = 2 [11.1%]; P = 0.002). Our results thus suggest that DHPS mutations may contribute to failures of co-trimoxazole treatment for PCP.
Background: A review was undertaken of the clinical features and results of diagnostic tests in non-HIV infected patients who developed granulomatous Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the charts and radiographs of patients with a granulomatous reaction to P carinii identified from computerised pathology records at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a university affiliated tertiary care hospital.
Results: Three cases were identified; the incidence of granulomatous PCP was 3%. All patients had risk factors for PCP and had received high dose corticosteroids which had been stopped. Two patients had received chemotherapy. Presentation was insidious with only mild symptoms; only one patient had fever. Chest radiographs showed a reticulonodular pattern. Bronchoscopy was negative for PCP in all cases and open lung biopsy was necessary.
Conclusion: A granulomatous pathological reaction to PCP occurs rarely in patients with malignancy. In these cases the clinical presentation may be atypical and bronchoscopy can be non-diagnostic.
A 40-year-old man with Wegener's granulomatosis with renal and ocular involvement was admitted with symptoms of fever, malaise and cough not responding to oral antibiotics. On initial assessment, he had patchy consolidation but was also found to have a new cardiac murmur. He was mildly anaemic. Within 2 days of hospital stay his haemoglobin dropped and he became tachypnoeic. High-resolution CT found extensive pulmonary infiltrates, which suggested pulmonary haemorrhage, and blood cultures were negative. He was on antibiotics because of suspected infective endocarditis and this made any immunosuppressive treatment for active Wegener's granulomatosis very difficult. After extensive discussion with tertiary centres he had pulse methylprednisolone for 3 days. His echo detected aortic regurgitation but no vegetations. His antibiotics were stopped and he had cyclophosphomide to control his active Wegener's granulomatosis.
He improved remarkably with immunosuppression and non-invasive ventilation and was discharged. He had a further echo, which confirmed moderate aortic regurgitation. He is awaiting cardiac catheter studies but the fact is acute aortic regurgitation has happened due to active Wegener's granulomatosis along with pulmonary haemorrhage. This is a very rare presentation.
We conducted an open prospective clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole given as one double-strength tablet thrice weekly for primary and secondary prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in human immunodeficiency virus-infected (HIV+) patients. A total of 104 HIV+ patients were evaluated, with 74 being in the primary prophylaxis group and 30 being in the secondary prophylaxis group. All except six patients received concomitant zidovudine; five patients on primary prophylaxis and one patient on secondary prophylaxis refused zidovudine. There were 70 patients evaluated for the efficacy of primary prophylaxis. The mean CD4 count was 124.4 +/- 110.1 cells per microliter. The mean follow-up time was 11.8 +/- 5.8 months (median, 12 months; range, 1 to 32 months). Two noncompliant patients developed PCP after 1 and 3 months of chemoprophylaxis. The failure rate (under the intention to treat principle) was 2 of 70 patients (2.9%; 95% confidence interval, 0.35 to 10%), or 1 per 413 patient-months of observation. There were 27 patients evaluated for the efficacy of secondary prophylaxis. The mean follow-up time was 12.4 +/- 7.2 months (median, 11 months; range, 1 to 29 months). Two patients, one of whom was noncompliant, were treatment failures, developing PCP after 14 and 15 months of chemoprophylaxis; this gave a failure rate of 2 of 27 patients (7.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 24.3%), or 1 per 167 patient-months of observation. Adverse reactions sufficient to permanently terminate therapy occurred in 9 of 104 patients (8.7%; 95% confidence interval, 4 to 15.7%) overall. The serum trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, and N4-acetyl-sulfamethoxazole concentrations measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography were uniformly low. One double-strength tablet of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole taken weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday appeared to be well tolerated and efficacious for the prophylaxis of PCP in HIV+ patients at high risk and deserves further investigation.
The importance of CD4+ cells in resistance to Pneumocystis carinii (PC) in PC-susceptible severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice that were made resistant to PC by immunocompetent spleen cell transfer, and in conventional PC-resistant mice, was investigated. SCID mice with naturally acquired PC pneumonia (PCP) were given infusions of spleen cells from immunocompetent donors. This reconstitution caused the recipients to resolve their PCP. Treatment of reconstituted SCID mice with anti-CD4 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to deplete them of CD4+ cells eliminated their ability to resolve PCP, whereas treating them with anti-CD8 mAb to deplete CD8+ cells had no effect. The findings indicate, therefore, that resistance to PCP in immunologically reconstituted SCID mice is dependent on CD4+ cells. To determine whether CD4+ cells enable conventional mice to resist PCP, B6D2 mice were treated with anti-CD4 mAb to deplete them of CD4+ cells in an attempt to induce PCP. After 10-11 wk of treatment, these mice developed progressive PCP. Taken together, these results indicate that loss of CD4+ cells predisposes mice to PC infection.