Internal transcribed spacer regions of rRNA genes of Pneumocystis carinii from monkeys

J. Y.C. Hsueh, Jr Bohm, P. J. Didier, X. Tang, M. E. Lasbury, B. Li, S. Jin, M. S. Bartlett, J. W. Smith, C. H. Lee

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10 Scopus citations


Analysis of sequence variations among isolates of Pneumocystis carinii f. sp. macacae from 14 Indian rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the nuclear rRNA gene was undertaken. Like those from P. carinii f. sp. hominis, the ITS sequences from various P. carinii f. sp. macacae isolates were not identical. Two major types of sequences were found. One type of sequence was shared by 13 isolates. These 13 sequences were homologous but not identical. Variations were found at 13 of the 180 positions in the ITS1 region and 28 of the 221 positions in the ITS2 region. These sequence variations were not random but exhibited definite patterns when the sequences were aligned. According to this sequence variation, ITS1 sequences were classified into three types and ITS2 sequences were classified into five types. The remaining specimen had ITS1 and ITS2 sequences substantially different from the others. Although some specimens had the same ITS1 or ITS2 sequence, all 14 samples exhibited a unique whole ITS sequence (ITS1 plus ITS2). The 5.8S rRNA gene sequences were also analyzed, and only two types of sequences that differ by only one base were found. Unlike P. carinii f. sp. hominis infections in humans, none of the monkey lung specimens examined in this study were found to be infected by more than one type of P. carinii f. sp. macacae. These results offer insights into the genetic differences between P. carinii organisms which infect distinct species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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    Hsueh, J. Y. C., Bohm, J., Didier, P. J., Tang, X., Lasbury, M. E., Li, B., Jin, S., Bartlett, M. S., Smith, J. W., & Lee, C. H. (2001). Internal transcribed spacer regions of rRNA genes of Pneumocystis carinii from monkeys. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, 8(3), 503-508.