Identification of phagocytosed Pneumocystis carinii in human pulmonary alveolar macrophages

Cytopathology. 1993;4(4):225-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2303.1993.tb00092.x.


Examination of Papanicolaou-stained bronchoalveolar lavage samples from cases with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonitis under ultra-violet light reveals alveolar macrophages packed with fluorescent inclusions. Immunoenzymatic staining of the alveolar macrophages with a monoclonal antibody specific for P. carinii (3F6) showed that these inclusions contain intact pneumocysts or their degradation products. Fluorescence microscopy of Papanicolaou-stained smears is advocated as a sensitive and specific method of diagnosing P. carinii infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / microbiology*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Phagocytosis
  • Pneumocystis / isolation & purification*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / microbiology*
  • Staining and Labeling / methods