Scientists Shed Light on Fungus Behind Deadly Pneumonia Strain
FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers report that they've sequenced the genome of a fungus called Pneumocystis jirovecii, potentially laying the groundwork for new ways to treat a strain of pneumonia that can kill people with weakened immune systems.
The strain is known as Pneumocystis pneumonia. First noticed among malnourished babies, it gained attention during the AIDS epidemic because it struck HIV-infected patients. It also strikes other patients whose immune systems don't work properly, such as those who receive organ transplants, are undergoing treatment for blood cancer or have autoimmune disorders.
The sequencing of the genome revealed that the fungus is a parasite that must live within the human body to survive. "This has been quite an important finding which implied that human beings represent the reservoir of this pathogen," study co-author Philippe Hauser of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne in Switzerland, said in a news release from the American Society for Microbiology.
The study appears in the Dec. 26 issue of the online journal mBio.
For more about pneumonia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
-- Randy Dotinga
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Health News TodayFeed
- Soda Habit May Prompt Early Puberty in Girls, Study Suggests01/28/2015
- Seniors May Keep Falls a Secret01/27/2015
- 'Long Life' Gene Might Make Some Smarter, Too: Study01/27/2015
- Good Sleep in Middle Age May Pay Benefits Later01/27/2015
- Watch Upper Number on Blood Pressure for Younger Adults: Study01/27/2015
- When children show signs of an eating disorder
- 7 proven treatments for arthritis pain
- Why women can't sleep
- What pain meds are OK if you're on prednisone?
- Teenage depression: What you need to know
- Top forms of birth control
- Is medication causing your weight gain?
- The 90-day guide to getting pregnant
Take a Personalized Health Test
What's Causing Your Symptoms?
15 Ways To Get Better Medicine
People who are actively involved in their medical care stay healthier, recover quicker when they're ill, and live longer, healthier lives.