Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia
Alternate Names : PCP
The organism Pneumocystis carinii causes pneumonia, especially in people with
What is going on in the body?
By the time children turn 4 years old, 3 out of 4 will have acquired an
organism called Pneumocystis carinii. People are believed to get it from the
environment or from contact with others who are infected, but this is not known
Usually infection during early childhood causes no symptoms. When a child or
adult has a weakened immune system, though, it may cause severe pneumonia.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or PCP, is the most common serious infection by
a normal inhabitant of the body found in children infected with the AIDS virus.
Adults and children whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy,
AIDS, or other conditions can become severely ill with PCP. This is also true
malnourished and premature babies.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
Pneumocystis carinii causes PCP. People with weakened immune systems are at
risk for serious illness.