Pneumocystis jirovecii is an atypical fungus responsible for severe life-threatening pneumonia (pneumocystosis) in immunocompromised patients such as HIV positive patients, solid organ transplant recipients, patients with solid tumors or hematological malignancy, and patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs. It is estimated that more than 500 000 cases occur worldwide every year, associated with at least 250 000 deaths.
The pathophysiology of pneumocystosis is still poorly understood. Indeed, studies are limited by the lack of simple and reproducible culture system. As a result, only molecular techniques directly performed on clinical respiratory samples are currently used to study the natural history of the infection, the inter-human transmission and the genetic diversity of the strains.
Our aim is here to study the molecular variability of Pneumocystis jirovecii with a focus on genotyping and antigenic variability.