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J Infect Dis. 2003 Mar 15;187(6):901-8. Epub 2003 Mar 6.

Limited asymptomatic carriage of Pneumocystis jiroveci in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

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Molecular Infectious Diseases Group, Department of Paediatrics, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Forty-seven bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from 16 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients were used to test the latency model of Pneumocystis infection in the human host. Identification of DNA sequence polymorphisms at 4 independent loci were used to genotype Pneumocystis jiroveci from the 35 samples that contained detectable P. jiroveci DNA. Eighteen of those 35 samples came from patients who did not have Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and had confirmed alternative diagnoses. Seven patients had asymptomatic carriage of P. jiroveci over periods of < or = 9.5 months after an episode of PCP, and in all 7 cases, a change in genotype from that in the original episode of PCP was observed. The absence of P. jiroveci DNA in one-fourth of the 47 samples and the observed changes in genotype during asymptomatic carriage do not support the latency model of infection. Asymptomatic carriage in HIV-infected patients may play a role in transmission of P. jiroveci and may even supply a reservoir for future infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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