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Case Reports
, 305 (24), 1425-31

Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia and Mucosal Candidiasis in Previously Healthy Homosexual Men: Evidence of a New Acquired Cellular Immunodeficiency

Case Reports

Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia and Mucosal Candidiasis in Previously Healthy Homosexual Men: Evidence of a New Acquired Cellular Immunodeficiency

M S Gottlieb et al. N Engl J Med.

Abstract

Four previously healthy homosexual men contracted Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, extensive mucosal candidiasis, and multiple viral infections. In three of the patients these infections followed prolonged fevers of unknown origin. In all four cytomegalovirus was recovered from secretions. Kaposi's sarcoma developed in one patient eight months after he presented with esophageal candidiasis. All patients were anergic and lymphopenic; they had no lymphocyte proliferative responses to soluble antigens, and their responses to phytohemagglutinin were markedly reduced. Monoclonal-antibody analysis of peripheral-blood T-cell subpopulations revealed virtual elimination of the Leu-3 / helper/inducer subset, an increased percentage of the Leu-2 + suppressor/cytoxic subset, and an increased percentage of cells bearing the thymocyte-associated antigen T10. The inversion of the T/ helper to suppressor/cytotoxic ratio suggested that cytomegalovirus infection was an important factor in the pathogenesis of the immunodeficient state. A high level of exposure of male homosexuals to cytomegalovirus-infected secretions may account for the occurrence of this immune deficiency.

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