Pneumocystis carinii

A diagnostic dilemma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pneumocystis carinii has proved to be one of the most enigmatic and unpredictable infectious agents ever described in the medical literature. To the purist who insists that Koch’s postulates must be satisfied, frustration and perhaps misinterpretation of laboratory data may be the end result. Koch, who lived in a time when the ravages of acutely virulent infectious diseases were felt throughout the civilized world, probably had little time to consider the existence of opportunists. Koch’s shadow looms large over the discipline of infectious diseases, and his clearly defined, black-and-white postulates still ring true. However, we now recognize more clearly the role of host defenses and that there are gray zones populated by opportunists which may or may not, depending upon the integrity of the immune defenses, obey these time-honored precepts. Against this backdrop, considerable confusion has surrounded P. carinii. Some of the reasons for this confusion and other dilemmas, particularly with regard to diagnosis and concept, will be explored both factually and hypothetically in the discussion to follow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-183
Number of pages67
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease
Volume2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

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Pneumocystis carinii
Communicable Diseases
Confusion
Frustration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Pneumocystis carinii : A diagnostic dilemma. / Pifer, Linda.

In: Pediatric Infectious Disease, Vol. 2, No. 3, 01.01.1983, p. 117-183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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