Transmission of Pneumocystis carinii DNA from a patient with P. carinii Pneumonia to immunocompetent contact health care workers

Sergio L. Vargas, Carolina A. Ponce, Francis Gigliotti, Ana V. Ulloa, Susana Prieto, Maria P. Muñoz, Walter T. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The transmission of Pneumocystis carinii from person to person was studied by detecting P. carinii-specific DNA in prospectively obtained noninvasive deep-nasal-swab samples from a child with a documented P. carinii pneumonia (PCP), his mother, two contact health care workers, and 30 hospital staff members who did not enter the patient's room (controls). Nested-DNA amplification was done by using oligonucleotide primers designed for the gene encoding the mitochondrial large subunit rRNA of rat P. carinii (P. carinii f. sp. carinii) that amplifies all forms of P. carinii and internal primers specific for human P. carinii (f. sp. hominis). P. carinii f. sp. hominis DNA was detected in samples from the patient and all of his contacts versus none of the 30 hospital staff members. The results, as previously shown in murine models of P. carinii pneumonia, document that person-to-person transmission of P. carinii is possible. This observation suggests that immunocompromised patients not on PCP prophylaxis should not enter the room of a patient with PCP, and it also raises the question as to whether healthy contacts can transmit the disease to immunocompromised patients at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1536-1538
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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