Abstract

Dihydropteroate synthase gene (DHPS) mutations at codons 55 and 57 have been associated with sulfa/sulfone resistance in Pneumocystisjirovecii strains from patients who previously received prophylaxis. To evaluate the prevalence of these mutations, a portion of P.jiroveciiDHPS gene was analysed using PCR combined with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis in 92 bronchoalveolar fluid samples collected between January 1998 and September 2001 from French patients with pulmonary pneumocystosis (PCP). Seventy-six samples contained the wild-type DHPS genotype (82.6%) and 16 contained a mutant genotype (17.4%). Twelve out of the 16 isolates with a mutant DHPS genotype corresponded to patients who had never received sulfa or sulfone prophylaxis, suggesting that DHPS mutants may be acquired denovo. There was no significant difference in favourable or adverse outcome in PCP caused by the wild or mutant DHPS genotypes (P=0.34).