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J Infect Dis. 2002 Dec 1;186(11):1647-54. Epub 2002 Nov 11.

Analysis of variation in tandem repeats in the intron of the major surface glycoprotein expression site of the human form of Pneumocystis carinii.

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  • 1Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Variation in the tandem repeats in the expression site of the human-derived Pneumocystis carinii major surface glycoprotein gene was characterized by denaturing gel electrophoresis. The number of repeats in 147 isolates ranged from 2 to 6, with 2, 3, and 4 repeats being the most common. Sequence analysis identified 3 types of repeat units that differed by 1 nucleotide, which suggests a hierarchy of evolution of human-derived P. carinii. Examination of sequential samples obtained from 6 patients at an interval of 10-90 days showed an identical repeat pattern in each patient. However, in 2 of 4 patients with 2-3 different samples obtained within 4 days, different repeat patterns were observed among the samples. Quantifying the number of repeats by denaturing gel electrophoresis is a simple and rapid-typing method that can be used alone or in combination with other methods to study the epidemiology of P. carinii.

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