Prevalence and genotyping of Pneumocystis jirovecii in renal transplant recipients-preliminary report

Magdalena Szydłowicz, Katarzyna Jakuszko, Anna Szymczak, Paweł Piesiak, A Kowal , Żaneta Kopacz, Maria Wesołowska, Maria Luísa Lobo, O Matos, Andrzej Boguslaw Hendrich, Marta Kicia

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Pneumocystis jirovecii is an opportunistic fungus occurring in human lungs. The group at highest risk consists of HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected immunosuppressed individuals. In these patients, P. jirovecii infection may lead to Pneumocystis pneumonia; it may, however, persist also in an asymptomatic form. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of P. jirovecii and potential risk factors for infection in a group of renal transplant recipients and to characterize the genetic diversity of this fungus in the studied population. Sputum specimens from 72 patients were tested for presence of P. jirovecii using immunofluorescence microscopy, as well as nested PCR targeting the mtLSU rRNA gene. Genotyping involving analysis of four loci-mtLSU rRNA, CYB, DHPS, and SOD-was used to characterize the diversity of the detected organisms. Pneumocystis DNA was detected in eight (11.11%) patients. It has been shown that low eosinophil count and dual immunosuppressive treatment combining prednisone and calcineurin inhibitors are potential risk factors for colonization. Analysis of genotype distribution showed an association of the wild-type genotype of mtLSU rRNA with lower average age of patients and shorter time after kidney transplantation. Furthermore, CYB 2 genotype was detected only in patients with the ongoing prophylaxis regimen. In conclusion, renal transplant recipients are at risk of Pneumocystis colonization even a long time after transplantation. The present preliminary study identifies specific polymorphisms that appear to be correlated with certain patient characteristics and highlights the need for deeper investigation of these associations in renal transplant recipients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • Colonization
  • Genotyping
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii
  • Prevalence
  • Renal transplant recipients


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