We have recently developed a method for typing Pneumocystis carinii strains that infect humans. The method takes advantage of nucleotide sequence variations in internal transcribed spacers (ITSs) of the rRNA genes of P. carinii. To date, two types of nucleotide sequences (designated types A and B) have been found in the ITS1 region, and three types of nucleotide sequences (designated types a, b, and c) have been found in the ITS2 region. Of the six potential combination types, we have detected four, designated types Ac, Bb, Ba, and Bc. To simplify typing, we have designed five oligonucleotide probes, probes 1-A, 1-B, 2-a, 2-b, and 2-c, which are specific to ITS1 type A and type B and ITS2 type a, type b, and type c, respectively, of P. carinii strains that infect humans. We also have designed an oligonucleotide which reacts specifically with P. carinii strains that infect rats. The ITS regions were amplified by PCR, and the PCR products were then probed with these type-specific oligonucleotide probes. Typing with the type-specific oligonucleotide probes was found to be effective with specimens containing only one type of P. carinii. These methods are rapid and simple to perform and will he useful for studying the epidemiology of P. carinii infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)