Washington: Scientists have sequenced the genome of the fungus responsible for a type of common and fatal pneumonia, an advancement that provides a wealth of information to tackle the disease.The sequencing will help identify new targets for drugs to treat and prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia, a common and often deadly infection in immunocompromised patients.Scientists sequenced the genome of the pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii."Recognised first among malnourished infants, P jirovecii pneumonia became a public issue with the advent of the HIV epidemic," said Philippe Hauser of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, in Switzerland.Today, the disease most commonly affects HIV-infected persons who are unaware of their status as well as solid organ transplant recipients and patients with hemato-oncologic or autoimmune diseases.Since the organism cannot be grown in the lab for study, researchers have long made do with studying P jirovecii`s lab-friendly relatives, species that infect animals and plants, in order to explore the secrets of the human disease.
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