Outbreak-Causing Fungi: Pneumocystis jirovecii

  • Sarah Dellière
  • Maud Gits-Muselli
  • Stéphane Bretagne
  • Alexandre AlanioEmail author


Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is an important cause of morbidity in immunocompromised patients, with a higher mortality in non-HIV than in HIV patients. P. jirovecii is one of the rare transmissible pathogenic fungi and the only one that depends fully on the host to survive and proliferate. Transmissibility among humans is one of the main specificities of P. jirovecii. Hence, the description of multiple outbreaks raises questions regarding preventive care management of the disease, especially in the non-HIV population. Indeed, chemoprophylaxis is well codified in HIV patients but there is a trend for modifications of the recommendations in the non-HIV population. In this review, we aim to discuss the mode of transmission of P. jirovecii, identify published outbreaks of PCP and describe molecular tools available to study these outbreaks. Finally, we discuss public health and infection control implications of PCP outbreaks in hospital setting for in- and outpatients.


Pneumocystis Outbreaks Renal transplant recipient Invasive fungal disease Molecular typing Infection control 


Authors’ contribution

AA and SD contributed to the conception and design of the review. AA, SD and MGM drafted the manuscript. AA, SD, MGM and SB critically revised the entire manuscript, agreed to be fully accountable for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the work and approved the final submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Groupe Hospitalier Saint-Louis-Lariboisière-Fernand-Widal, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP)Université de ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Molecular Mycology Unit, CNRS UMR2000Institut PasteurParis Cedex 15France
  3. 3.National Reference Center for Invasive Mycoses and Antifungals (NRCMA)Institut PasteurParisFrance

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