Pneumocystis jirovecii can colonize patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To determine if colonization occurs in asthma patients, sputum samples from 10 patients with mild asthma, who were not receiving oral corticosteroids, were evaluated by a sensitive real-time PCR assay that targets a multicopy gene of P. jirovecii. 2 patients (20%) had Pneumocystis DNA detected; 1 patient had 3 positive samples over an 11-day period. Thus, Pneumocystis colonization occurs in asthma patients, and further studies are warranted to evaluate its role in airways disease.
Trial registration number NCT01113034.
Contributors ELD, REC, RTD, KNO, and JAK are responsible for study conception and design; REC, CF, GF, and KNO performed study procedures and collected data; ELD, GF, KNO, and JAK analyzed and interpreted results; ELD, RTD, KNO, and JAK are responsible for drafting the manuscript; all authors are responsible for review of the manuscript.
Funding This research was supported by the Intramural Research Programs of the NIH Clinical Center, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval NIH, NIAID IRB.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.