Definition: the eukaryotic microorganism responsible for interstitial pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. The exact taxonomic position remains unclear, because the organism has morphologic similarities to protozoa but shares substantial 16S ribosomal RNA and mitochondrial DNA with some species of the Ascomycetes. P. jiroveci fails to grow on fungal culture media but takes up fungal stains, and infections from it respond to antiprotozoal as well as to some antifungal drugs.
[G. pneuma, air, breathing, + kystis, bladder, pouch]
See Also: Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
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