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J Clin Microbiol. 1999 Jan;37(1):127-31.

Detection of Pneumocystis carinii DNA in blood specimens from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients by nested PCR.

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1
Departement de Parasitologie et de Mycologie, Universite Claude-Bernard, Lyon, France. rabodoni@rockefeller.univ-lyon1.fr

Abstract

The detection of Pneumocystis carinii DNA in blood by PCR could be useful for studying the natural history of pneumocystosis and could also be a noninvasive diagnostic method. The results of previous studies are nevertheless conflicting. In our study, we compared three commercially available DNA extraction kits (GeneReleaser, QIAamp Tissue Kit, and ReadyAmp Genomic DNA Purification System) and proteinase K and proteinase K-phenol-chloroform treatments for the extraction of P. carinii DNA from dilutions of a P. carinii f. sp. hominis cyst suspension mixed with human whole blood. A rapid and simple nested PCR protocol which amplifies a portion of the mitochondrial large-subunit rRNA gene was applied to all the extraction products. The QIAmp Tissue Kit was the most effective kit for the isolation of amplification-ready P. carinii DNA and was used with nested PCR for the testing of whole-blood specimens from 35 immunocompetent control patients and 84 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients investigated for pulmonary disease and/or fever. In HIV-infected patients, P. carinii DNA was detected by nested PCR in blood samples from 3 of 14 patients with microscopically proven P. carinii pneumonia, 7 of 22 patients who were considered to be colonized with P. carinii, and 9 of 48 patients who were neither infected nor colonized with P. carinii. P. carinii DNA was not detected in blood specimens from the 35 immunocompetent patients. P. carinii DNA in blood might represent viable P. carinii organisms or DNA complexes released from pulmonary phagocytes. In conclusion, P. carinii DNA may be detected in whole blood from HIV-infected patients, but the nature and the meaning of the circulating form of P. carinii remain to be established.

PMID:
9854076
PMCID:
PMC84186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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