[Detection of Pneumocystis carinii in clinical samples by the polymerase chain reaction. Comparison with the methenamine silver technique].Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 1993 Mar; 11(3):143-6.EI
A comparison of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with methenamine silver stain was performed on clinical specimens for diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in immunosuppressed patients.
25 clinical samples (10 induced sputa, 12 transthoracic needle aspirations and 2 bronchoalveolar lavages) from 17 patients with AIDS and respiratory symptoms were studied. We performed DNA amplification by using 2 primers that amplify the mitochondrial large rDNA sequence of P. carinii.
The sensitivity and specificity of the PCR technique were 92.8% and 100% respectively, with a positive predictive value of 100% and negative predictive value of 92.3%. The sensitivity of the silver stain were 65%, specificity 100%, positive predictive value 100% and negative predictive value 63%.
The PCR technique is more sensitive than the methenamine silver stain for detecting Pneumocystis carinii in respiratory specimens from patients with pneumonia. Consequently it could be a very good alternative to classical methods in diagnosis of P. carinii infections.