PCR Detection of Microbial Pathogens pp 159-170

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 943)

Real-Time PCR Assay for the Diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia



Pneumocystis jirovecii is a common cause of life-threatening pneumonia among immunocompromised patients. Since P. jirovecii cannot be cultured, specific identification of it depends on examining respiratory specimens. In the last decade, PCR has been developed which allows the detection of very low levels of P. jirovecii not detectable by routine histochemical staining. We have shown that the direct immunofluorescence assay can be replaced by a real-time PCR assay given its feasibility, sensitivity, and specificity, for the detection of P. jirovecii. A negative PCR, performed on a LightCycler System®, enables a diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PjP) to be excluded, and the semiquantitative result with the application of some cutoff values can have a role in distinguishing between colonized or subclinically infected patients and PjP patients.

Key words

Pneumocystis jirovecii Bronchoalveolar lavage Diagnosis Real-time PCR 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service de Parasitologie-MycologieHôpital Rangueil, CHU ToulouseToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Service de Parasitologie-MycologieHôpital RangueilToulouseFrance

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