Identification of fungal DNA in BALF from patients with home-related hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Respir Med. 2011 Nov;105(11):1696-703. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2011.07.009. Epub 2011 Aug 6.


Background: In Japan, a major type of home-related hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is summer-type HP, which is caused by Trichosporon asahii (T. asahii) or Trichosporon mucoides. Some patients with home-related HP test negative for antibodies against Trichosporon; yet, a causative mold antigen cannot be identified.

Methods: We analyzed 19 patients with home-related HP, 8 healthy volunteers, and 35 patients with other diseases. We extracted DNA from cell pellets of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), amplified the DNA by PCR using Trichosporon-specific primers or other fungus-specific primers, and cloned as well as sequenced the PCR amplicon. Other primers used were specific for Acremonium chrysogenum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium napiforme, Humicola fuscoatra, Penicillium corylophilum, and Pezizia domiciliana.

Results: We detected Trichosporon DNA (n = 17) and F. napiforme DNA (n = 2) by PCR in 19 patients with home-related HP; however, these species were not identified in healthy volunteers. After sequencing of the PCR amplicon for Trichosporon species, we identified T. asahii (n = 11), Trichosporon japonicum (n = 1), and Cryptococcus uzbekistanesis (n = 4).

Conclusion: We could detect fungal DNA in BALF cell pellets from patients with home-related HP. These data suggest that this method might be useful to detect antigens responsible for home-related HP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / epidemiology
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / genetics
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Fungal / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid* / immunology
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / immunology
  • DNA, Fungal / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / genetics
  • Mycoses / immunology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Social Environment
  • Trichosporon / genetics
  • Trichosporon / immunology
  • Trichosporon / isolation & purification*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • DNA, Fungal