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Pneumocystis colonization in asthmatic patients not receiving oral corticosteroid therapy
  1. Emma L Davey1,
  2. Rhonda E Colombo2,
  3. Charles Fiorentino3,
  4. Gary Fahle4,
  5. Richard T Davey Jr5,
  6. Kenneth N Olivier6,7,
  7. Joseph A Kovacs1
  1. 1Critical Care Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3Division of Clinical Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  4. 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  5. 5Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  6. 6Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  7. 7Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph A Kovacs, Critical Care Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Building 10, Room 2C145, MSC 1662, Bethesda, MD 20892-1662, USA; jkovacs{at}mail.nih.gov

Abstract

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.

  • Lung Diseases
  • Asthma

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Footnotes

  • 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.

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