Pneumocystis Molecular Phylogeny: A Way to Understand Both Pneumocystosis Natural History and Host Taxonomy

  • Magali Chabé
  • Jean-Pierre Hugot
  • Eduardo Dei-Cas


The genus Pneumocystis comprises numerous fungal pathogens dwelling in the lungs of a wide spectrum of mammalian species. Here, we show how new molecular methodologies, and in particular phylogenetics, have changed our views on the diversity and epidemiology of these fungal pathogens. Pneumocystis organisms have a marked host-species-related diversity, which is associated to close host specificity. High divergence among Pneumocystis species probably resulted from a prolonged process of coevolution with each mammal host and mostly associated with cospeciation like it was demonstrated in recent phylogenetic studies on primate-derived Pneumocystis. Therefore, Pneumocystis species or strains may be used as evolution markers, to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of mammal species, thus helping to elucidate controversial issues in mammalian taxonomy.


Pneumocystis Jirovecii Airborne Transmission Phylogenetic Species Concept Sole Species Major Surface Glycoprotein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magali Chabé
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Pierre Hugot
    • 3
  • Eduardo Dei-Cas
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Biology and Diversity of Emergent Eukaryotic Pathogens (BDEEP) – Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, Pasteur Institute of Lille, Inserm U1019, CNRS UMR 8204University Lille-Nord-de-FranceLilleFrance
  2. 2.Department of Parasitology – Mycology, Faculty of Biological and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Lille-Nord-de-FranceLilleFrance
  3. 3.OSEB, UMR 5202 CNRSMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of Parasitology – Mycology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Lille-Nord-de-France, Biology-Pathology Centre, University Hospital CenterLilleFrance

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