Persistent pneumocystis colonization leads to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a nonhuman primate model of AIDS

J Infect Dis. 2010 Jul 15;202(2):302-12. doi: 10.1086/653485.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are at increased risk for development of pulmonary complications, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inflammation associated with subclinical infection has been postulated to promote COPD. Persistence of Pneumocystis is associated with HIV infection and COPD, although a causal relationship has not been established. We used a simian/human immunodeficiency virus model of HIV infection to study pulmonary effects of Pneumocystis colonization. Simian/human immunodeficiency virus-infected/Pneumocystis-colonized monkeys developed progressive obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by increased emphysematous tissue and bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue. Increased levels of T helper type 2 cytokines and proinflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid coincided with Pneumocystis colonization and a decline in pulmonary function. These results support the concept that an infectious agent contributes to the development of HIV-associated lung disease and suggest that Pneumocystis colonization may be a risk factor for the development of HIV-associated COPD. Furthermore, this model allows examination of early host responses important to disease progression, thus identifying potential therapeutic targets for COPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Chemokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Emphysema / microbiology
  • Emphysema / virology
  • HIV
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / microbiology
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Pneumocystis / isolation & purification
  • Pneumocystis / pathogenicity*
  • Primates
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / microbiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / virology
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology*
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines