The first detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii in asthmatic patients post COVID-19 in Jordan

Ahmad Riyad Alsayed, Wamidh Talib, Abdullah Al-Dulaimi, Safa Daoud, Mohammed Al Maqbali

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Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), caused by fungal species named Pneumocystis jirovecii, is a frequent opportunistic infection in those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. However, PCP has been documented in immunocompetent patients. This study aims to determine if P. jirovecii detection occurs in asthma patients following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a Jordanian cohort. Also, to evaluate a method of TaqMan quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to detect P. jirovecii, from sputum samples. The nasopharyngeal swabs were used to detect SARS-CoV-2 and sputum samples were tested for P. jirovecii using real time qPCR assay. Beta-tubulin (BT) and Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) genes were the directed targets of P. jirovecii. The results showed that the mean qPCR efficiencies of BT and DHFR were 96.37% and 100.13%, respectively. Three out of 31 included patients (9.7%) had a positive P. jirovecii. All of the three patients had used oral corticosteroids (OCS) in the last two months due asthma exacerbation and were treated with OCS for COVID-19. This is the first study based in Jordan to demonstrate that P. jirovecii and COVID-19 can co-exist and that it is important to maintain a broad differential diagnosis, especially in immunocompromised patients. Chronic lung disease can be a risk factor for the P. jirovecii colonization possibly due to corticosteroid's immunosuppression.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalBosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences
Early online date18 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


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