Pneumocystis jirovecii is responsible for a disease affecting immuno-depressed patients: Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). Airborne transmission of Pneumocystis has been demonstrated in animal models and is highly probable in humans. However, information concerning burdens of Pneumocystis jirovecii in exhaled air from infected patients is lacking due to the technical limitations of the current sampling methods. This fungus is indeed not cultivable, so impaction method based on the cultivability of microorganisms cannot be used. Also, the difficulties of extraction from a solid support or the lengthy conditions of sampling (filtration technique) led us to consider alternative methods that would be suitable for both sampling and quantifying P. jirovecii in air. Our objective is to evaluate P. jirovecii air diffusion in patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia with Coriolis air sampler sampling combined with RT-PCR assays .
33/56 positive air samples : the more the distance from the
patient is low, the more the P.jirovecii DNA is detected at:
1m – 15/19 samples (78.9%), 3m – 9/13 (69.2%), 5m – 5/12
(41.7%), 8m – 4/12 (33.3%)
This study provides the first quantitative data on the
spread of P. jirovecii in exhaled air from infected patients.