oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Prevalence of Pneumocystis jirovecii and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in patients presenting with pneumonia at hospitals in Port Elizabeth : original research
The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Pneumocystis jirovecii and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in patients presenting with community-acquired pneumonia, in order to improve treatment management programmes. Sputum specimens from 45 patients presenting with pneumonia/symptoms of pneumonia admitted to hospitals in the Port Elizabeth region were assessed. Details of patient's gender, age, HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis status were provided by the hospitals. PCRs were performed employing primers directed at the following genes : P. jirovecii for detection of mitochondrial large subunit ribosomal RNA (mtLSUrRNA) and for cotrimoxazole resistance mutation analysis dihrdropteroate synthase (DHPS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR); M. pneumoniae for detection of P1 adhesin and 16SrRNA. Women were seen to be at high risk for community-acquired P. jirovecii colonisation. Overall, prevalence of P. jirovecii was 73% (33/45 patients). P. jirovecii was mainly associated with HIV (28/30 P. jirovecii-positive patients for which clinical data were available) and co-colonisation with M. tuberculosis was observed in 10 HIV cases and one HIV-negative patient. DHPS and DHFR primers seriously lacked sensitivity and on six and four PCR products obtained, respectively, no resistance associated mutations were found. M. pneumoniae was detected in one patient. The high prevalence of P. jirovecii and presence of M. pneumoniae in cases of pneumonia investigated emphasises that in the absence of definitive diagnoses, it is crucial to monitor treatment responses carefully, especially when first line antibiotic preferences are ß-lactams or cephalosporins.
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