Pneumocystis jirovecii multilocus gene sequencing: findings and implications

Future Microbiol. 2010 Aug;5(8):1257-67. doi: 10.2217/fmb.10.75.


Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PcP) remains a major cause of respiratory illness among immunocompromised patients, especially patients infected with HIV, but it has also been isolated from immunocompetent persons. This article discusses the application of multilocus genotyping analysis to the study of the genetic diversity of P. jirovecii and its epidemiological and clinical parameters, and the important concepts achieved to date with these approaches. The multilocus typing studies performed until now have shown that there is an important genetic diversity of stable and ubiquitous P. jirovecii genotypes; infection with P. jirovecii is not necessarily clonal, recombination between some P. jirovecii multilocus genotypes has been suggested. P. jirovecii-specific multilocus genotypes can be associated with severity of PcP. Patients infected with P. jirovecii, regardless of the form of infection they present with, are part of a common human reservoir for future infections. The CYB, DHFR, DHPS, mtLSU rRNA, SOD and the ITS loci are suitable genetic targets to be used in further epidemiological studies focused on the identification and characterization of P. jirovecii haplotypes correlated with drug resistance and PcP outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Fingerprinting*
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Mycological Typing Techniques*
  • Pneumocystis Infections / epidemiology
  • Pneumocystis Infections / microbiology*
  • Pneumocystis carinii / classification*
  • Pneumocystis carinii / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Fungal