Fungus a possible precursor of severe respiratory diseases in pigs

The fungus Pneumocystis carinii causes mild forms of progressive pneumonia in pigs. It has therefore not been considered to be of high diagnostic relevance. A team from Vetmeduni Vienna has now shown this pathogen to be very prevalent among Austrian pigs, indicating that its role has so far been underestimated. Pneumocystis appears to be a sort of “door opener” for secondary bacterial infections. The researchers also show lung lavages to be an effective and relatively stress-free method for detecting the fungus in time. The results were published in two studies in the journals The Veterinary Journal and Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)