Current epidemiology of Pneumocystis pneumonia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;10(10):1713-20. doi: 10.3201/eid1010.030985.


Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) has historically been one of the leading causes of disease among persons with AIDS. The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in industrialized nations has brought about dramatic declines in the incidence of AIDS-associated complications, including PCP. In the adult population, the incidence of PCP has significantly decreased, but it remains among the most common AIDS-defining infections. Similar declines have been documented in the pediatric population. In much of the developing world, PCP remains a significant health problem, although its incidence among adults in sub-Saharan Africa has been debated. This review discusses the epidemiology of PCP during the current era of the AIDS epidemic. Although fewer cases of PCP occur in industrialized countries, increasing drug-resistant HIV infections, possible drug-resistant PCP, and the tremendous number of AIDS cases in developing countries make this disease of continued public health importance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adult
  • Africa
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Child
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Global Health
  • HIV
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pneumocystis carinii
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors