BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS-related pneumonia. Coloured X-ray of the lungs of a patient with AIDS-related pneumonia. The yellow and green areas in the lower lungs are shadows on the X-ray, caused by damage to the lung tissue. Healthy lung tissue appears black. This type of pneumonia is a major killer in victims of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The cause is a protozoan (single-celled) parasite called Pneumocystis carinii. Spores of this organ- ism are thought to be common among healthy people, but the disease only develops when the victim's immune system has been severely damaged, as in AIDS. Symptoms include fever, dry cough and short- ness of breath.
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