In the present study, in order to improve the detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) mutations in pulmonary specimens of HIV-infected patients with P. jirovecii pneumonia, we evaluated a microfiltration procedure for the removal of human cell contamination and a nested-PCR method, for amplification in specimens with low parasite load. In the studied population, PCR amplification of the DHPS gene was more successful in unfiltered than in filtered specimens, with both touchdown-PCR and nested-PCR procedures (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively), but the amount of host DNA in the samples analysed seems to be inversely related with the successful PCR parasite detection. Amplification of P. jirovecii DHPS gene with nested-PCR was achieved in 77.5% of the specimens studied, demonstrating that this is a useful method for the identification of mutations in pulmonary specimens, including samples with low parasite loads, and will facilitate the evaluation of the relationship between the P. jirovecii DHPS polymorphisms and clinical resistance to sulfa drugs.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being