Mild Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia

Mild Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia

Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia (PJP) is a type of infection in the lungs caused by a fungus. Mild cases of this type of pneumonia can cause few or no symptoms, but more severe cases can be life-threatening.

PJP is a common opportunistic infection in people with weakened immune systems, like those living with HIV. It is also seen in people who are on cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Signs and Symptoms

Mild cases of PJP might not even show any symptoms. Symptoms can include:

  • Coughing (can be dry or with sputum)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weight loss


A doctor will do a physical examination and get a patient history. This will likely be followed by a chest X-ray and lab tests. A bronchoscopy, which is a procedure to look at the lungs more closely, might be performed.


Treatment for mild PJP is usually oral medications, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Some antifungal treatments also might be used. Hospitalization is not usually needed for mild cases.

More severe cases of PJP might require treatment with the drug pentamidine for up to two weeks. Depending on the severity of the pneumonia, intravenous antifungals or additional medications might be needed. Hospitalization can be very important for more serious cases of PJP.


With treatment, people with mild PJP usually experience a full recovery. The prognosis is not as good for people with more severe PJP because of their weakened immune system, but it can be managed with medications.