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Purpose of review: Parasitic pneumonia is being increasingly reported from many parts of the world due to globalization and travel across the continents. This review outlines the recent developments in the diagnosis and management of parasitic pneumonias.

Recent findings: A polymerase chain reaction that can differentiate pathogenic Entamoeba histolytica from nonpathogenic species has been reported. It has been observed that pulmonary infection with Leishmania donovani can occur in immunodeficient and lung transplant patients. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, seen in severe falciparum malaria, has also been observed in vivax malaria. A study has demonstrated the return of chloroquine-sensitive falciparum malaria several years after chloroquine treatment was discontinued. Pulmonary hypertension has been reported in Schistosoma hematobium, S. mansoni and S. japonicum infections. Strongyloides hyperinfection and disseminated disease are frequently reported in immunocompromised individuals. Parenteral ivermectin is found to be useful in the treatment of disseminated strongyloidiasis. A chronic mild interstitial lung disease has been found to persist in tropical pulmonary eosinophilia despite treatment. Studies are in progress to develop vaccines against amoebiasis, malaria and hookworm infections.

Summary: Parasitic pneumonia can sometimes be life threatening. If proper diagnosis is made early, the pneumonia can be treated successfully with currently available drugs.

(C) 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.