BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of a section of human lung alveolus containing the yeast-like fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii (formerly known as P. carinii), the causative agent of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). Mainly seen here are trophozoites, with a collapsed empty cystic stage. This lung infection is the most common opportunistic illness in people infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Pneumonia causes an inflammation of the lungs. The tiny air-sacs (alveoli) in the lungs to fill with pus and fluid (exudate), which hinders gas exchange. If left untreated, pneumonia leads to acute respiratory distress and blood poisoning (sepsis). Magnification 4000x, 6.5 x 6.5 image size. Color.
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