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
For more about
pneumonia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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