Immune response in the host

P. carinii infection stimulates both humoral and cellular immune responses in the host. Seroepidemi-ologic studies have shown that 60-95% of all individuals contain detectable levels of antibodies to the organism, suggesting widespread natural environmental exposure. Most patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have pre-existing serum antibodies to P. carinii, but these antibodies are not capable of providing protection against the development of P. carinii pneumonia. The 3545 kDa band is the antigen recognized most frequently by the serologic responses.

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