A Czech Researcher and Pneumocystis

Sajadi, Mohammad M.; Fantry, George T.; Fantry, Lori E.
July 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;7/15/2004, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p270
Academic Journal
This article focuses on works of Otto Jirovec, a Czech researcher of parasitology, who was one of the first to describe Pneurnocystis pneumonia in humans. In the 1930s and 1940s, an epidemic form of pneumonia was recognized in Luropean infants who were born prematurely. This pneumonia, called "interstitial plasma cell pneumonia," was associated with death by the age of 6 months. It was not until 1951 that Otto Jirovec, along with researcher Joseph Vanek, demonstrated that the etiologic agent of interstitial plasma cell pneumonia was Pneurnocystis. Jirovec started out as a zoologist studying microsporidia and later contributed to the understanding of Trichomonas vasginalis , Toxoplasma, and Leptospira. However, he is most famous for his work on Pneumocystis, both for his initial description of the species that infects humans and later for his studies of its development and epidemiology.


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