Identification of Pneumocystis carinii DNA by polymerase chain reaction in necropsy lung samples from children dying of respiratory tract illnesses

J Pediatr. 2002 Mar;140(3):367-9. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2002.122468.


Polymerase chain reaction for Pneumocystis carinii DNA was performed on necropsy lung samples from children by means of P carinii -specific primers.P carinii DNA was identified in 22 of 22 (100%) samples with histologically proven P carinii pneumonia and 13 of 75 (17%) with non-P carinii pneumonia respiratory illness (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 83%). The low specificity precludes the use of polymerase chain reaction as an alternative to histopathologic diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology*
  • Pneumocystis / genetics*
  • Pneumocystis / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Bacterial