Lifelong Prophylaxis With Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole for Prevention of Outbreak of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Outbreaks of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in kidney transplant recipients are frequently reported worldwide. However, the general guidelines propose only short-term prophylaxis with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole after kidney transplantation. We experienced 3 PCP outbreaks in the last 10 years despite providing the recommended prophylaxis. The purpose of this study was to find a prophylaxis regimen that could successfully prevent future PCP outbreaks in immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipients.


Occurrence of PCP at our hospital since 2004 was reviewed. A total of 48 cases were diagnosed from July 2004 through December 2014. Genotypes of P. jirovecii were determined in these cases.


Three PCP outbreaks by 3 different genotypes of P. jirovecii in each outbreak occurred with 2-year intervals in last 10 years. Molecular analysis showed that each intraoutbreak was caused by identical P. jirovecii, whereas interoutbreaks were caused by different genotypes. Although short-term prophylaxis was provided to all kidney recipients after each outbreak after identification of a single PCP case, additional outbreaks were not prevented because the universal prophylaxis had already been completed when new case of PCP emerged.


The contagious nature of P. jirovecii allows easy development of outbreaks of PCP in immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipients. Although the universal short-term prophylaxis is effective in controlling ongoing outbreak, lifelong prophylaxis of kidney transplant recipients should be considered to prevent new outbreaks.

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