Strain typing methods and molecular epidemiology of Pneumocystis pneumonia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;10(10):1729-35. doi: 10.3201/eid1010.030981.


Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) caused by the opportunistic fungal agent Pneumocystis jirovecii (formerly P. carinii) continues to cause illness and death in HIV-infected patients. In the absence of a culture system to isolate and maintain live organisms, efforts to type and characterize the organism have relied on polymerase chain reaction-based approaches. Studies using these methods have improved understanding of PCP epidemiology, shedding light on sources of infection, transmission patterns, and potential emergence of antimicrobial resistance. One concern, however, is the lack of guidance regarding the appropriateness of different methods and standardization of these methods, which would facilitate comparing results reported by different laboratories.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Fungal / analysis
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Mycological Typing Techniques / methods*
  • Pneumocystis carinii / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / epidemiology*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • RNA, Fungal / analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Fungal