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author:("kelvin, K.")
1.  Transmission of Pneumocystis carinii from patients to hospital staff 
Thorax  1997;52(5):422-424.
BACKGROUND: An extrahuman reservoir of human pathogenic Pneumocystis carinii remains unknown. Host to host transmission has been described in animal studies and in cluster cases among immunodeficient patients. P carinii DNA has recently been detected in air filters from inpatient and outpatient rooms in departments of infectious diseases managing patients with P carinii pneumonia (PCP), suggesting the airborne route of transmission. Exposure of staff to P carinii may occur in hospital departments treating patients with PCP. METHODS: Exposure to P carinii was detected by serological responses to human P carinii by ELISA, Western blotting, and indirect immunofluorescence in 64 hospital staff with and 79 staff without exposure to patients with PCP from Denmark and Sweden. DNA amplification of oropharyngeal washings was performed on 20 Danish staff with and 20 staff without exposure to patients with PCP. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the frequency or level of antibodies to P carinii between staff exposed and those unexposed to patients with PCP. None of the hospital staff had detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings. CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference in antibodies and no detectable P carinii DNA in oropharyngeal washings, which suggests that immunocompetent staff treating patients with PCP are not a potentially infectious source of P carinii for immunocompromised patients. 



PMCID: PMC1758557  PMID: 9176532
3.  Application and staining patterns of commercial anti-Pneumocystis carinii monoclonal antibodies. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1993;31(8):2222-2224.
Commercially available monoclonal antibodies to Pneumocystis carinii were compared with respect to immunofluorescence staining patterns of human immunodeficiency virus-inactivated smears. Only the indirect staining kits were suitable for application to ethanol-inactivated samples. When antibodies from Dakopatts and Northumbria were compared, the staining of cysts and trophozoites showed different patterns.
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PMCID: PMC265729  PMID: 7690369
4.  Detection of Pneumocystis carinii DNA in sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage samples by polymerase chain reaction. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1993;31(2):221-226.
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay was developed for the detection of Pneumocystis carinii DNA in induced sputum and bronchoscopic alveolar lavage samples. The primer pair was selected from the published sequence of the thymidylate synthase gene of P. carinii derived from infected rats. The amplified DNA fragment of 403 bp was detected by agarose gel electrophoresis and by Southern and slot blot hybridization. No positive reaction was seen with DNA from different microorganisms typically found in the respiratory tract. P. carinii DNA was demonstrated in 30 of 42 sputum samples from immunosuppressed patients, whereas 21 of 42 sputum samples were positive by indirect immunofluorescence (IFL). Among the 42 patients, 14 were receiving prophylactic chemotherapy. In that group, PCR detected P. carinii in nine sputum samples, whereas IFL detected P. carinii in only four sputum samples. A positive PCR result was also seen in 5 of 43 IFL-negative bronchoscopic alveolar lavage samples from patients with respiratory symptoms. The PCR assay detected 10 copies of the target DNA, which corresponds to 10(-18) g of the specific P. carinii sequence. The results indicate that PCR amplification in combination with DNA hybridization is specific and is a more sensitive diagnostic method than IFL for the detection of P. carinii.
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PMCID: PMC262739  PMID: 8432806
5.  Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia: detection of parasites in sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid by monoclonal antibodies. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1988;297(6645):381-384.
Diagnosis of pneumocystis pneumonia is based on identifying Pneumocystis carinii cytochemically in material from the lung. The silver methenamine staining methods most commonly used are technically difficult and lack specificity. The diagnostic value of immunocytological identification of the parasite was evaluated by using mouse monoclonal antibody 3F6, specific for human pneumocystis, to identify P carinii in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and sputum by immunofluorescence and was compared with that of other variables. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed on 25 patients positive for HIV antibody with clinically suspected pneumocystis pneumonia and 40 patients negative for HIV antibody who presented with interstitial disorders of the lung. Lavage fluid showed pneumocystis only in the patients positive for antibody, the parasite being detected in 19 by immunofluorescence and in 17 by a modified silver methenamine staining method. Chest x ray films obtained at the time of bronchoscopy showed interstitial or alveolar shadowing in 17 of the 19 patients, but clinical symptoms and the presence of antibodies to pneumocystis did not seem to be predictive. Sputum samples were collected during 43 episodes of clinically suspected pneumocystis pneumonia in patients positive for HIV antibody. Pneumocystis was detected consistently more commonly by immunofluorescence than the silver strain in sputum collected routinely and induced by inhalation of saline. In 17 patients bronchoalveolar lavage followed sputum collection, and the sensitivity of detection of pneumocystis in immunofluorescence in sputum compared with lavage fluid was 57% (8/14). Immunofluorescence was suitable for specimens fixed in ethanol and seemed highly specific and more sensitive than the standard cytochemical methods for identifying pneumocystis.
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PMCID: PMC1834294  PMID: 3044514

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