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Characterization of Pneumocystis carinii infection in Sorex araneus: A review



Characterization of Pneumocystis carinii infection in Sorex araneus: A review



Mammalia 59(4): 623-627



Pneumocystis carinii is a pulmonary pathogen causing a fatal pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised hosts. Notable interspecific differences in the prevalence of P. carinii have been observed in small mammals in Finland. Although seasonal peaks (up to 30%) occur in some species, prevalences usually are low ( lt 10%). On the contrary, 40% to 70% of the common shrews, Sorex araneus, have the cyst form of P. carinii. The prevalence is high in all sex and age groups, in all seasons and throughout the country. Despite the high prevalence, no signs of PCP have been detected, and the infected shrews are apparently healthy. The occurrence of cysts has no significant relation to the histological changes detected in the lungs of the shrews. The number of cysts found per gram of lung tissue in wild S. araneus is low compared to those of clinically ill rats, but seems on the average to be higher than those found in Microtus agrestis caught in the same area. The interspecific differences in the prevalence of P. carinii infection observed in shrews and other wild mammals are most likely due to the strong species specificity of P. carinii.

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Accession: 008293360

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DOI: 10.1515/mamm.1995.59.4.623


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