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PCP Renamed to Better Reflect Its Taxonomy

PCP Renamed to Better Reflect Its Taxonomy


The common AIDS-related opportunistic infection Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia has been renamed Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia to more accurately identify the fungus that causes the infection. DNA sequencing showed that the organism that causes PCP in humans is a species distinct from Pneumocystis carinii, which resulted in efforts to change the name of the pathogen and the infection. The new name already has begun appearing on many scientific Web sites, including those by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although health care providers can still accurately refer to the AIDS-related pneumonia as Pneumocystis pneumonia and continue to use the PCP abbreviation, they may have to explain the name change to their HIV-positive patients, particularly those who have seen the new taxonomic classification online or in scientific journals.

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