A Prospective, Blinded Study of Quantitative Touch-Down Polymerase Chain Reaction Using Oral-Wash Samples for Diagnosis of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in HIV-infected Patients

J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189(9):1679-83. doi: 10.1086/383322. Epub 2004 Apr 16.


Oral-wash samples obtained during 113 episodes of suspected Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients were tested by use of a quantitative touch-down PCR (QTD PCR) assay. QTD PCR had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 85%. Treatment for PCP prior to oral wash collection had an impact on the sensitivity, and PCR-positive oral-wash samples obtained within < or =1 day of treatment from patients without PCP had significantly fewer copies per tube than did those from patients with PCP; thus, application of a post hoc cut-off value of 50 copies/tube increased the specificity to 100%. QTD PCR of oral-wash samples can be an accurate and noninvasive method for diagnosis of PCP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • DNA, Fungal / analysis
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Pneumocystis / genetics
  • Pneumocystis / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Therapeutic Irrigation


  • DNA, Fungal