1887

Abstract

Between January 2002 and July 2003, 173 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens from 150 patients (19 HIV-infected and 131 non-HIV-infected patients) were evaluated for identification of (formerly known as f. sp. ) using staining techniques, conventional PCR ( gene) and real-time PCR ( gene). Test results were compared to pneumonia (PCP) confirmed by typical clinical findings and response to treatment. Sensitivity and specificity of the techniques were 60 and 100 % for staining (where either one or both techniques were positive), 100 and 87.0 % for conventional PCR and 100 and 84.9 % for real-time PCR, respectively. The use of a concentration of 10 copies of DNA per capillary of BAL as a cut-off (determined by real-time PCR) increased specificity from 84.9 to 98.6 % without reducing the sensitivity of the technique. This technique is rapid (<3 h) and therefore of major interest in differentiating between asymptomatic carriage and PCP. A BAL specimen with <10 copies per capillary of -specific DNA is more likely to indicate a chronic carrier state, but in such cases follow-up is required to ensure that the patient is not in the early stage of an active PCP.

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2004-07-01
2019-11-19
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