Detection and quantification of different (PC) life cycle forms were performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by morphological stains on bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) from HIV-infected patients with pneumonia (PCP). The number of PC trophozoites was higher in patients with PCP who were receiving prophylaxis than in those not receiving prophylaxis. Also the cyst: trophozoite ratio was lower in the first group. No difference was observed between patients receiving different prophylactic medications. The imbalance between PC forms in BALF from patients with PCP receiving anti-PC prophylaxis may hamper the sensitivity of cyst stains. Multiple stains or PCR examination should be performed on BALF from patients with clinically suspected PCP who are receiving prophylaxis.


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