Study on the Presence of Protozoal Coinfections among Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Bulgaria
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Study on the Presence of Protozoal Coinfections among Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Bulgaria

Authors: N. Tsvetkova, R. Harizanov A. Ivanova, I. Rainova, N. Yancheva-Petrova, D. Strashimirov, R. Enikova, M. Videnova, E. Kaneva, I. Kaftandjiev, V. Levterova, I. Simeonovski, N. Yanev, G. Hinkov

Abstract:

The Pneumocystis jirovecii (P. jirovecii) and protozoan of the genera Acanthamoeba, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma gondii are opportunistic pathogens that can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. Aim of the study was to evaluate the coinfection rate with opportunistic protozoal agents among Bulgarian patients diagnosed with P. jirovecii pneumonia. 38 pulmonary samples were collected from 38 patients (28 HIV-infected) with P. jirovecii infection. P. jirovecii DNA was detected by real-time PCR targeting the large mitochondrial subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Acanthamoeba was determined by genus-specific conventional PCR assay. Real-time PCR for the detection of a Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium DNA fragment was used. Pneumocystis DNA was detected in all 38 specimens; 28 (73.7%) were from HIV-infected patients. Three (10,7%) of them were coinfected with T. gondii and 1 (3.6%) with Cryptosporidium. In the group of non-HIV-infected (n = 10), Cryptosporidium DNA was detected in an infant (10%). Acanthamoeba DNA was not found in the tested samples. The current study showed a relatively low rate of coinfections of Cryptosporidium spp./T. gondii and P. jirovecii in the Bulgarian patients studied.

Keywords: Coinfection, opportunistic protozoal agents, Pneumocystis jirovecii, pulmonary infections.

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