Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with AIDS in Central Africa

Respir Med. 1990 May;84(3):225-8. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(08)80039-x.


Over a period of 11 months, 37 patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) presenting with symptoms of bronchopulmonary disease were investigated. Patients presented with cough, weight loss, fever and dyspnoea. Investigations included fibreoptic bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial biopsy. In eight patients (22%) Pneumocystis carinii was found. Pulmonary infiltrates were found on chest radiographs of six patients, while in the remaining two patients chest radiographs showed clear lung fields. P. carinii was found in two patients with pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma. Infection with P. carinii often occurred with other pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae was found in four patients, Staphylococcus aureus in two and tuberculosis in two. P. carinii pneumonia does occur in patients with HIV infection in Africa and the diagnosis is relatively simple to make provided that transbronchial biopsy and bronchoalveolar lavage are carried out through a fibreoptic bronchoscope and specimens examined after appropriate staining. However, the prevalence of P. carinii in patients with HIV infection in Africa appears to be lower than that found in patients with HIV infection in Europe and North America.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / diagnosis
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Zimbabwe