Parasitic Pneumonia Causes and Treatment

The diagnostic and treatment of parasitic pneumonias has seen a lot of developments in the recent years mainly due to the increased interaction of people from different areas of the globe. In the past, all parasitic diseases were only prevalent in the tropical and subtropical areas but with globalization, such diseases can be found in very unlikely areas. Parasitic diseases including parasitic pneumonias have been a major challenge in third world countries because they are associated with poverty and hence neglected. With the recent developments in this health area, it can only be hoped that more emphasis will be aimed at a eradicating these disturbing conditions.

Through recent studies, scientists have managed to discover the difference the nonpathogenic and pathogenic species of Entamoeba histolytica. In the search for parasitic lung infection treatments, scientists have come across a certain interstitial disease that persists even with treatment. There are many other ongoing studies to develop vaccines for various parasitic infections. As for parasitic pneumonia, it still remains a threat anywhere in the world. The condition can be managed if the diagnosis is done early and followed by the appropriate treatment. Over the course of research on this topic, several parasitic pneumonias have been discovered and they include pulmonary leishmaniasis, malaria, amoebiasis and hydatid disease.

The genus plasmodium carried in the female anopheles mosquito causes malaria when it is transmitted to humans from an infected mosquito bite. Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale, P. malaria and P. falciparum are the four known parasites that cause malaria in humans. Infections in the pulmonary tract will be evidenced by edema, coughs and respiratory syndromes. At the moment though, there is no concrete evidence of a direct link between malaria and pneumonia. What is clear is that parasitic pneumonia may follow malaria as a result of secondary infections. As such, the treatment of malaria is important to prevent the occurrence of such infections. Examples of effective drugs for the control of malaria include artemisinin derivatives and quinine dihydrochloride.  Although these drugs and vaccines are suitable for the alleviation of malaria, the prevalence of this disease is best controlled through the use of treating mosquito nets.

Another obstacle when it comes to the lungs health is pulmonary hydatid disease, whose cysts inhabit the lungs and liver. When the Echinococcus multilocularis and E. granulosus parasites attack these organs, the symptoms that are seen include coughing, chest pain and fever. Continued stay of the cysts is dangerous because they soon start to expand and rupture, releasing among other things cystic fluid. It is at this point that the patient experiences the persistent parasitic pneumonia symptoms. For the early detection of the Echinococcus genus attack, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging have been proven to be effective. Surgery is the best remedy for the removal of a hydatid cyst infestation but Albendazole and Mebendazole can be used for inoperable cases.

Another form of parasitic pneumonia is visceral leishmaniasis whose parasite is transmitted by Phlebotomus better known as the sand fly. This infection has been found in lung transplants and HIV patients. To prevent or treat this infection suggested drugs are Miltefosine, Pentamidine and pentavalent antimonials.  Other parasites that may cause various forms of pneumonias include Brugia malayi, Wuchereria bachrofti and Dirofilaria imitis.

The attacks and effects of parasitic pneumonias are so varied that an infection can be mild in one instance and fatal in another scenario. These conditions appear to be prevalent in immuno-suppressed individuals such as those harboring the HIV virus. At the moment, research is still ongoing to improve the diagnostic and treatment methods for all parasitic pneumonias. The best remedy for all parasitic attacks is to prevent them, so such approaches are also emphasized.

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