A collaborative study was undertaken at two institutions to assess the performance of a direct fluorescent-antibody stain for the detection of Pneumocystis carinii in respiratory specimens from patients with known or suspected human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections. A total of 163 specimens (125 induced sputa, 37 bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, and 1 tracheal aspirate) from 124 patients were examined by using modified Giemsa (Diff-Quik; Baxter American Scientific Products, Chicago Ill.) and direct fluorescent-antibody stains. A total of 73 specimens contained P. carinii, which was detected in 66 (92%) of the specimens by using the modified Giemsa and in 71 (97%) of the specimens by using the fluorescent-antibody stain. One bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimen in which P. carinii was detected only with the fluorescent-antibody stain was determined to be a false-positive based on subsequent clinical evaluation of the patient. Although the overall time for processing and examining specimens stained with either stain was not significantly different for those specimens containing P. carinii, considerably less time was required for microscopic examination of those fluorescent-antibody-stained specimens lacking P. carinii.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)