A prospective, blinded study of quantitative touch-down polymerase chain reaction using oral-wash samples for diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-infected patients.

Larsen HH, Huang L, Kovacs JA, Crothers K, Silcott VA, Morris A, Turner JR, Beard CB, Masur H, Fischer SH.

J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189(9):1679-83. doi: 10.1086/383322. Epub 2004 Apr 16.

Oral-wash samples obtained during 113 episodes of suspected Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients were tested by use of a quantitative touch-down PCR (QTD PCR) assay. QTD PCR had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 85%. Treatment for PCP prior to oral wash collection had an impact on the sensitivity, and PCR-positive oral-wash samples obtained within < or =1 day of treatment from patients without PCP had significantly fewer copies per tube than did those from patients with PCP; thus, application of a post hoc cut-off value of 50 copies/tube increased the specificity to 100%. QTD PCR of oral-wash samples can be an accurate and noninvasive method for diagnosis of PCP.

PMID: 15116305

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.