Added Value of Next-Generation Sequencing for Multilocus Sequence Typing Analysis of a Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia Outbreak1.
ABSTRACT: Pneumocystis jirovecii is a major threat for immunocompromised patients, and clusters of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) have been increasingly described in transplant units during the past decade. Exploring an outbreak transmission network requires complementary spatiotemporal and strain-typing approaches. We analyzed a PCP outbreak and demonstrated the added value of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) study of P. jirovecii strains. Thirty-two PCP patients were included. Among the 12 solid organ transplant patients, 5 shared a major and unique genotype that was also found as a minor strain in a sixth patient. A transmission map analysis strengthened the suspicion of nosocomial acquisition of this strain for the 6 patients. NGS-MLST enables accurate determination of subpopulation, which allowed excluding other patients from the transmission network. NGS-MLST genotyping approach was essential to deciphering this outbreak. This innovative approach brings new insights for future epidemiologic studies on this uncultivable opportunistic fungus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An outbreak of 29 cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) occurred among renal and liver transplant recipients (RTR and LTR) in the largest Danish transplantation centre between 2007 and 2010, when routine PCP prophylaxis was not used. METHODS:P. jirovecii isolates from 22 transplant cases, 2 colonized RTRs, and 19 Pneumocystis control samples were genotyped by restriction fragment length polymorphism and multilocus sequence typing analysis. Contact tracing was used to investigate transmission. Potential risk factors were compared between PCP cases and matched non-PCP transplant patients. RESULTS:Three unique Pneumocystis genotypes were shared among 19 of the RTRs, LTRs, and a colonized RTR in three distinct clusters, two of which overlapped temporally. In contrast, Pneumocystis control samples harbored a wide range of genotypes. Evidence of possible nosocomial transmission was observed. Among several potential risk factors, only cytomegalovirus viremia was consistently associated with PCP (P=0.03; P=0.009). Mycophenolate mofetil was associated with PCP risk only in the RTR population (P=0.04). CONCLUSION:We identified three large groups infected with unique strains of Pneumocystis and provide evidence of an outbreak profile and nosocomial transmission. LTRs may be infected in PCP outbreaks simultaneously with RTRs and by the same strains, most likely by interhuman transmission. Patients are at risk several years after transplantation, but the risk is highest during the first 6 months after transplantation. Because patients at risk cannot be identified clinically and outbreaks cannot be predicted, 6 months of PCP chemoprophylaxis should be considered for all RTRs and LTRs.
Project description:Over a 5-month period, four liver transplant patients at a single hospital were diagnosed with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP). This unusually high incidence was investigated using molecular genotyping. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) obtained from the four liver recipients diagnosed with PCP were processed for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) at three loci (SOD, mt26s, and CYB). Twenty-four other BALF samples, which were positive for P. jirovecii and collected from 24 epidemiologically unrelated patients with clinical signs of PCP, were studied in parallel by use of the same method. Pneumocystis jirovecii isolates from the four liver recipients all had the same genotype, which was different from those of the isolates from all the epidemiologically unrelated individuals studied. These findings supported the hypothesis of a common source of contamination or even cross-transmission of a single P. jirovecii clone between the four liver recipients. Hospitalization mapping showed several possible encounters between these four patients, including outpatient consultations on one particular date when they all possibly met. This study demonstrates the value of molecular genotyping of P. jirovecii isolated from clinical samples for epidemiological investigation of PCP outbreaks. It is also the first description of a common source of exposure to a single P. jirovecii clone between liver transplant recipients and highlights the importance of prophylaxis in such a population.
Project description:Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is an opportunistic infection with airborne transmission and remains a major cause of respiratory illness among immunocompromised individuals. In recent years, several outbreaks of PCP, occurring mostly in kidney transplant recipients, have been reported. Currently, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) performed on clinical samples is considered to be the gold standard for epidemiological investigations of nosocomial clusters of PCP. However, until now, no MLST consensus scheme has emerged. The aim of this study was to evaluate the discriminatory power of eight distinct loci previously used for the molecular typing of P. jirovecii (internal transcribed spacer 1 [ITS1], cytochrome b [CYB], mitochondrial rRNA gene [mt26S], large subunit of the rRNA gene [26S], superoxide dismutase [SOD], ?-tubulin [?-TUB], dihydropteroate synthase [DHPS], and dihydrofolate reductase [DHFR]) using a cohort of 33 epidemiologically unrelated patients having respiratory samples that were positive for P. jirovecii and who were admitted to our hospital between 2006 and 2011. Our results highlight that the choice of loci for MLST is crucial, as the discriminatory power of the method was highly variable from locus to locus. In all, the eight-locus-based scheme we used displayed a high discriminatory power (Hunter [H] index, 0.996). Based on our findings, a simple and alternative MLST scheme relying on three loci only (mt26S, CYB, and SOD) provides enough discriminatory power (H-index, 0.987) to be used for preliminary investigations of nosocomial clusters of PCP.
Project description:Pneumocystis jirovecii is an atypical fungus responsible for severe respiratory infections, often reported as local outbreaks in immunocompromised patients. Epidemiology of this infection, and transmission risk emphasises the need for developing genotyping techniques. Currently, two methods have emerged: Multilocus Sequence typing (MLST) and microsatellite length polymorphism (MLP). Here we compare an MLST strategy, including 2 nuclear loci and 2 mitochondrial loci, with an MLP strategy including 6 nuclear markers using 37 clinical PCR-positive respiratory samples from two French hospitals. Pneumocystis jirovecii MLST and MLP provided 30 and 35 different genotypes respectively. A higher number of mixed infections was detected using MLP (48.6% vs. 13.5% respectively; p = 0.002). Only one MLP marker (STR279) was statistically associated with the geographical origin of samples. Haplotype network inferred using the available genotypes yielded expanded network for MLP, characterized by more mutational steps as compared to MLST, suggesting that the MLP approach is more resolutive to separate genotypes. The correlation between genetic distances calculated based on MLST and MLP was modest with a R 2 value = 0.32 (p < 0.001). Finally, both genotyping methods fulfilled important criteria: (i) a discriminatory power from 97.5% to 99.5% and (ii) being quick and convenient genotyping tools. While MLP appeared highly resolutive regarding genotypes mixture within samples, using one genotyping method rather than the other may also depend on the context (i.e., MLST for investigation of suspected clonal outbreaks versus MLP for population structure study) as well as local facilities.
Project description:Pneumocystis pneumonia is a severe opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients caused by the unusual fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. Transmission is airborne, with both immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals acting as a reservoir for the fungus. Numerous reports of outbreaks in renal transplant units demonstrate the need for valid genotyping methods to detect transmission of a given genotype. Here, we developed a short tandem repeat (STR)-based molecular typing method for P. jirovecii. We analyzed the P. jirovecii genome and selected six genomic STR markers located on different contigs of the genome. We then tested these markers in 106 P. jirovecii PCR-positive respiratory samples collected between October 2010 and November 2013 from 91 patients with various underlying medical conditions. Unique (one allele per marker) and multiple (more than one allele per marker) genotypes were observed in 34 (32%) and 72 (68%) samples, respectively. A genotype could be assigned to 55 samples (54 patients) and 61 different genotypes were identified in total with a discriminatory power of 0.992. Analysis of the allelic distribution of the six markers and minimum spanning tree analysis of the 61 genotypes identified a specific genotype (Gt21) in our hospital, which may have been transmitted between 10 patients including six renal transplant recipients. Our STR-based molecular typing method is a quick, cheap and reliable approach to genotype Pneumocystis jirovecii in hospital settings and is sensitive enough to detect minor genotypes, thus enabling the study of the transmission and pathophysiology of Pneumocystis pneumonia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pneumocystis jirovecii causes Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised patients with a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Colonization with this fungus may stimulate pulmonary inflammation or lead to PCP in susceptible patients. The epidemiology of this infection and routs of its transmission has poorly studied in Iran. We examined Pneumosystis colonization in patients with various lung underlying diseases. METHODS: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids of 458 patients with different underlying diseases or pulmonary signs were collected between August 2010 and January 2012. Patients were divided into four groups: transplant recipients, malignant patients, immunosuppressive drug recipients and patients with other different lung diseases. A sensitive nested-PCR method targeted 18S ribosomal RNA gene was used for investigating P. jirovecii in the specimens. RESULTS: P. jirovecii DNA was detected in 57 out of 458 (12.5%) BAL samples by nested-PCR. Colonization rate in malignant patients, transplant recipients, immunosuppressive therapy recipients and patients with other various lung diseases was 21.7%, 20.3%, 12.7% and 7.3%, respectively. The enzyme BanI cuts all PCR products producing fragments with the size of 228 and 104 base pair. This finding as well as sequencing of four random positive samples validated and reconfirmed the PCR results. P. jirovecii cysts were found in 5 out of 57 PCR positive samples. CONCLUSION: A significant number of patients with pulmonary diseases were colonized by P. jirovecii that can develop to PCP in these patients or they may transmit the fungus to other susceptible patients.
Project description:Pneumocystis jirovecii is a symbiotic respiratory fungus that causes pneumonia (PcP) in immunosuppressed patients. Because P. jirovecii cannot be reliably cultured in vitro, it has proven difficult to study and gaps in our understanding of the organism persist. The release of a draft genome for the organism opens the door for the development of new genotyping approaches for studying its molecular epidemiology and global population structure. We identified and validated 8 putatively neutral microsatellite markers and 1 microsatellite marker linked to the dihydropteroate synthase gene (dhps), the enzymatic target of sulfa drugs used for PcP prevention and treatment. Using these tools, we analyzed P. jirovecii isolates from HIV-infected patients from three geographically distant populations: Uganda, the United States, and Spain. Among the 8 neutral markers, we observed high levels of allelic heterozygosity (average He, 0.586 to 0.842). Consistent with past reports, we observed limited global population structuring, with only the Ugandan isolates showing minor differentiation from the other two populations. In Ugandan isolates that harbored mutations in dhps, the microsatellite locus linked to dhps demonstrated a depressed He, consistent with positive directional selection for sulfa resistance mutations. Using a subset of these microsatellites, analyses of individual and paired samples from infections in San Francisco, CA, showed reliable typeability within a single infection and high discriminatory power between infections. These features suggest that this novel microsatellite typing approach will be an effective tool for molecular-epidemiological investigations into P. jirovecii population structure, transmission, and drug resistance.
Project description:Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an opportunistic and potentially life-threatening infection of AIDS patients caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii (P. jirovecii). Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is the most commonly used drug combination in the treatment and prophylaxis of PCP. However, with long-term use of this combination, mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) gene of P. jirovecii bring about the development of resistance. Data on the prevalence of P. jirovecii and its DHPS mutants in China, especially in low endemic areas, are still limited. Thus, in the present study, we measured the P. jirovecii infection rate among HIV-positive and AIDS (HIV/AIDS) patients with suspected PCP and investigated the relationship between CD4+ T cell count and PCP occurrence. As well as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and sequencing, the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method was used to analyze DHPS point mutation in P. jirovecii strains. P. jirovecii was detected in 40.82% of cases. The clinical symptoms and signs of PCP were not typical; with decreasing CD4+ T cell counts, PCP infection in HIV/AIDS patients increased. In only one case (1.67%), the patients' DHPS gene could not be cut by the Acc I restriction enzyme. Furthermore, mutation at codon 171 was detected in 11 cases and no mutation was found at codon 57. Patients treated with sulfamethoxazole combined with Voriconazole or Caspofungin exhibited favorable results. After treatment, the symptoms of dyspnea were alleviated, and chest computed tomography findings showed the improvement of lung shadows. These indicated that the prevalence of DHPS mutations in P. jirovecii isolates in AIDS-PCP patients in the region was low. Thus, the contribution of gene mutations to treatment failure requires further research.
Project description:Interest in the detection of specific anti-Pneumocystis jirovecii antibodies has emerged as less-invasive alternative diagnostic approaches. Here is presented the performance of an ELISA based on a recombinant synthetic multi-epitope kexin 1 (Kex1) antigen of P. jirovecii, previously developed. Results showed that IgM anti-Kex1 levels were found significantly increased in patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) compared with non-PcP cases (p < 0.001), allowing a diagnostic performance of PcP with a 70.8% sensitivity and a 75.0% specificity. These results suggest that this Kex1-based ELISA is a promising tool toward the serodiagnosis of PcP when the standard methods are difficult to perform.
Project description:Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. In humans, PcP is caused by the opportunistic fungal species Pneumocystis jirovecii. Progress in Pneumocystis research has been hampered by a lack of viable in vitro culture methods, which limits laboratory access to human-derived organisms for drug testing. Consequently, most basic drug discovery research for P. jirovecii is performed using related surrogate organisms such as Pneumocystis carinii, which is derived from immunosuppressed rodents. While these studies provide useful insights, important questions arise about interspecies variations and the relative utility of identified anti-Pneumocystis agents against human P. jirovecii. Our recent work has identified the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) Rtt109 in P. carinii (i.e., PcRtt109) as a potential therapeutic target for PcP, since Rtt109 HATs are widely conserved in fungi but are absent in humans. To further address the potential utility of this target in human disease, we now demonstrate the presence of a functional Rtt109 orthologue in the clinically relevant fungal pathogen P. jirovecii (i.e., PjRtt109). In a fashion similar to that of Pcrtt109, Pjrtt109 restores H3K56 acetylation and genotoxic resistance in rtt109-null yeast. Recombinant PjRtt109 is an active HAT in vitro, with activity comparable to that of PcRtt109 and yeast Rtt109. PjRtt109 HAT activity is also enhanced by the histone chaperone Asf1 in vitro. PjRtt109 and PcRtt109 showed similar low micromolar sensitivities to two reported small-molecule HAT inhibitors in vitro. Together, these results demonstrate that PjRtt109 is a functional Rtt109 HAT, and they support the development of anti-Pneumocystis agents directed at Rtt109-catalyzed histone acetylation as a novel therapeutic target for human PcP.