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1.  Transmission of Pneumocystis carinii from patients to hospital staff 
Thorax  1997;52(5):422-424.
BACKGROUND: An extrahuman reservoir of human pathogenic Pneumocystis carinii remains unknown. Host to host transmission has been described in animal studies and in cluster cases among immunodeficient patients. P carinii DNA has recently been detected in air filters from inpatient and outpatient rooms in departments of infectious diseases managing patients with P carinii pneumonia (PCP), suggesting the airborne route of transmission. Exposure of staff to P carinii may occur in hospital departments treating patients with PCP. METHODS: Exposure to P carinii was detected by serological responses to human P carinii by ELISA, Western blotting, and indirect immunofluorescence in 64 hospital staff with and 79 staff without exposure to patients with PCP from Denmark and Sweden. DNA amplification of oropharyngeal washings was performed on 20 Danish staff with and 20 staff without exposure to patients with PCP. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the frequency or level of antibodies to P carinii between staff exposed and those unexposed to patients with PCP. None of the hospital staff had detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings. CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference in antibodies and no detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings, which suggests that immunocompetent staff treating patients with PCP are not a potentially infectious source of P carinii for immunocompromised patients. 



PMCID: PMC1758557  PMID: 9176532
2.  The major surface glycoprotein of Pneumocystis carinii induces release and gene expression of interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor alpha in monocytes. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(11):4790-4794.
Recent studies suggest that interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) may play a central role in host defense and pathogenesis during Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. In order to investigate whether the major surface antigen (MSG) of human P. carinii is capable of eliciting the release of IL-8 and TNF-alpha, human monocytes were cultured in the presence of purified MSG. MSG-stimulated cells released significant amounts of IL-8 within 4 h, and at 20 h, cells stimulated with MSG released 45.5 +/- 9.3 ng of IL-8/ml versus 3.7 +/- 1.1 ng/ml for control cultures (P = 0.01). In a similar fashion, MSG elicited release of TNF-alpha. Initial increases were also seen at 4 h, and at 20 h, TNF-alpha levels reached 6.4 +/- 1.1 ng/ml, compared to 0.08 +/- 0.01 ng/ml for control cultures (P < 0.01). A concentration-dependent increase in IL-8 and TNF-alpha secretion was observed at 20 h with 0.2 to 5 microg of MSG/ml (P < 0.01). Secretion of IL-8 and TNF-alpha from MSG-stimulated monocytes at 20 h was inhibited by 60 and 86%, respectively, after coincubation with soluble yeast mannan (P = 0.01). With an RNase protection assay, increases in steady-state mRNA levels for IL-8 and TNF-alpha were detectable at 4 h. These data show that recognition of MSG by monocytes involves a mannose-mediated mechanism and results in the release of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-8 and TNF-alpha.
PMCID: PMC175687  PMID: 9353066
3.  Pneumocystis carinii and specific fungi have a common epitope, identified by a monoclonal antibody. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1992;30(2):391-395.
Because Pneumocystis carinii may be related to fungi, we evaluated the reactivities of monoclonal antibodies raised against P. carinii with a variety of fungi. Fifty-two fungi and six protozoa were evaluated by immunofluorescence. One of three monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) tested (MAb 7D7) reacted with 15 fungi but no protozoa. Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed the strongest reactivity by immunofluorescence. The reactive antigen was characterized for four fungi by the immunoblot technique. In all cases the antigen that was reactive with MAb 7D7 was larger than the P. carinii antigens that reacted with 7D7. In further studies with P. carinii, Aspergillus species, and S. cerevisiae, we found that MAb 7D7 reacted with a carbohydrate component in all organisms. The presence of an epitope that is common to P. carinii and a number of fungi further supports the fungal nature of P. carinii.
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PMCID: PMC265066  PMID: 1371519
4.  Purification and characterization of a major human Pneumocystis carinii surface antigen. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1991;87(1):163-170.
Previous studies of Pneumocystis carinii have identified the major surface antigen of rat and human isolates as proteins of 116,000 and 95,000 mol wt, respectively, that are antigenically not identical. In this study both rat and human P. carinii proteins were purified by solubilization with zymolyase followed by molecular sieve and ion exchange chromatography. The native proteins had an apparent mol wt of 290,000 or greater, based on molecular sieve studies as well as cross-linking studies. Both proteins were glycoproteins; treatment with endoglycosidase H resulted in a 9% decrease in mol wt. The carbohydrate composition of the rat P. carinii glycoprotein was distinct from the human isolate; glucose, mannose, galactose, and glucosamine occurred in approximately equimolar ratios in the human P. carinii protein, whereas glucose and mannose were the predominant sugars of the rat P. carinii protein. To evaluate humoral immune responses to the human P. carinii protein, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using purified protein was developed. Some, but not all, patients who subsequently developed P. carinii pneumonia demonstrated a serum antibody response to the surface antigen. Nearly all subjects without a history of P. carinii pneumonia had no detectable antibodies. Purified P. carinii proteins will greatly facilitate the investigation of host-P. carinii interactions.
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PMCID: PMC295016  PMID: 1985093
5.  Identification of Pneumocystis carinii chromosomes and mapping of five genes. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(6):1705-1710.
Pulsed field gel electrophoresis was used to identify the chromosome-size DNA of Pneumocystis carinii, a major pathogen of immunocompromised patients. Thirteen chromosomes of rodent Pneumocystis carinii, ranging in size from 300 to 700 kilobases (kb), were identified. The minimum genome size for P. carinii, estimated on the basis of the sizes of chromosomes, is 7,000 kb. Genetic heterogeneity among different P. carinii isolates was documented by demonstration of chromosomal size variability. By hybridization studies, the genes for topoisomerase I, dihydrofolate reductase, rRNA, actin, and thymidylate synthase were mapped to single chromosomes of approximately 650, 590, 550, 460, and 350 kb, respectively. Hybridization studies further confirmed the genetic heterogeneity of P. carinii.
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PMCID: PMC258712  PMID: 2160429
6.  Breast screening in Britain and Sweden. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1988;297(6658):1266.
PMCID: PMC1834705  PMID: 3145077
7.  Efficacy of the acyclic guanosine analog buciclovir [(R)-9-(3,4-dihydroxybutyl)guanine] in experimental genital herpes. 
The efficacy of the anti-herpesvirus drug buciclovir [(R)-9-(3,4-dihydroxybutyl)guanine] was investigated in guinea pigs and mice infected intravaginally with herpes simplex virus type 2. Topical treatment initiated early after infection was efficacious, in contrast to topical treatment delayed 24 h or more. Systemic treatment of infected mice could not prevent the spread of virus to the brain and mortality. Systemically administered buciclovir had an effect in guinea pigs, even after delayed onset of treatment, but this effect required high doses of the drug. Our results suggest that buciclovir has only a limited effect against herpesvirus infections once the virus is present in the nervous systems of infected animals.
PMCID: PMC176394  PMID: 3013082

Results 1-7 (7)