rapid Pneumocystis carinii test / for respiratory infections / oral fluid / immunofluorescence
for respiratory infections
P. carinii is ubiquitous, infecting man and other mammals; the route of infection is presumed to be airborne. It is a major pathogen in the immunocompromised, especially patients with AIDS where it is an established cause of pulmonary infection. Starvation, haematological malignancies, collagen vascular diseases, primary cellular immune deficiency and immunosuppressive therapy, for example in transplant patients and leukaemic patients on cytotoxic drugs are factors that increase the likelihood of infection with P. carinii pneumonia (PCP).
Currently, P. carinii pneumonia may be diagnosed by the observation of P. carinii in either open lung or transbronchial lung biopsy material, bronchoalveolar lavage or induced sputum. It can be visualised with a variety of non‑specific stains including Gomori methenamine silver, toluidine blue-O, Gram-Weigert, Giemsa and Wright‑Giemsa. Because all these stains react with yeasts and other structures, P. carinii must be distinguished on the basis of morphology. Staining techniques are time consuming and often require a high level of technical expertise in the interpretation of results. The Detect IF P. carinii test uses a murine monoclonal antibody reactive with both human and rodent P. carinii in a simple and rapid test for the detection and identification of P. carinii in human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) and induced sputum (IS).