Lower incidence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia among Africans in the Netherlands host or environmental factors?

Athena national observational cohort study, A., Selwyn Lowe, Astrid Oude Lashof, Dirk Posthouwer

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6 Citations (Web of Science)


HIV-associated Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) remains one of the commonest opportunistic infections in Western countries. Although it has been suggested that racial differences in PJP incidence exist, early studies report conflicting results. This study aimed to investigate differences in PJP incidence in a developed country among patients originating from sub-Saharan Africa compared with other regions of origin.A retrospective observational cohort study was performed among 13,844 HIV-infected patients from the Dutch ATHENA cohort. The main outcome measure was occurrence of PJP.A total number of 1055 PJP infections were diagnosed. Patients originating from sub-Saharan Africa had a significantly lower risk of having PJP at the time of HIV diagnosis after adjustment of confounders compared with patients from Western origin [Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.21 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15-0.29)]. Other factors associated with higher PJP risk were increasing age [aOR 1.01 per year (95% CI 1.00-1.02)], a low CD4 count at HIV diagnosis [CD4 350 cells/?l aOR 123.3 (95% CI 77.8-195.5)] and a high plasma HIV-RNA (>100,000 copies/ml) at HIV diagnosis [aOR 1.41 (95% CI 1.19-1.66)]. Moreover, a clearly lower risk for PJP acquisition later during follow-up was observed among sub-Saharan Africans versus Western patients [adjusted hazard ratio 0.60 (95% CI 0.39-0.90)].Among HIV-infected patients living in the Netherlands, PJP occurrence is substantially lower in patients originating from sub-Saharan Africa, as compared to Western patients. Differences in genetic susceptibility may partially explain the lower PJP incidence in these patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1184
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2013


  • ethnicity
  • genetic susceptibility
  • HIV-related opportunistic infections
  • HIV
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii
  • pneumocystis pneumonia

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