Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia: still a concern in patients with haematological malignancies and stem cell transplant recipients

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Sep;71(9):2379-85. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw155. Epub 2016 May 12.


Pneumocystis jirovecii can cause life-threatening pneumonia following treatment for haematological malignancies or after HSCT. The mortality rate of P. jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in these patients is 30%-60%, especially after HSCT. The clinical presentation of PCP in haematology differs from that associated with HIV infection, with the disease being acute and more often severe, having a lower fungal burden and being more frequently linked to treatment with corticosteroids. Most cases occur in patients not receiving adequate prophylaxis. The development of new therapies, including targeted treatments and monoclonal antibodies in various haematological diseases, justifies constant vigilance in order to identify new at-risk populations and give prophylaxis accordingly. The fifth and sixth European Conferences on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL-5 and ECIL-6) aimed to review risk factors for PCP in haematology patients and to establish evidence-based recommendations for PCP diagnosis, prophylaxis and treatment. This article focuses on the magnitude of the problem, the main differences in clinical presentation between haematology patients and other immunocompromised populations, especially HIV-infected patients, and the main risk factors.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemoprevention / methods
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Pneumocystis carinii / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / prevention & control
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Transplant Recipients*


  • Antifungal Agents