Detection of Toxoplasma gondii by competitive DNA amplification of bronchoalveolar lavage samples

J Infect Dis. 1993 Dec;168(6):1585-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/168.6.1585.


The prevalence of pulmonary toxoplasmosis was assessed by a prospective analysis of 144 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples using competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to avoid false-negative results due to PCR techniques. Six samples were excluded because they contained amplification reaction inhibitors. None of the samples from the 37 immunocompetent patients and only 1 sample (1.7%) from the 59 immunocompromised patients without human immunodeficiency virus infection were PCR-positive. In contrast, Toxoplasma gondii DNA was found in 6 (14%) of 42 samples from patients with AIDS. All 6 patients had < or = 40 CD4 cells/microL and anti-Toxoplasma antibodies, and 5 had other sites of Toxoplasma infection. Six other AIDS patients who had received treatment for cerebral toxoplasmosis were PCR-negative. Thus, pulmonary toxoplasmosis is frequent in AIDS patients who have other sites of Toxoplasma infection and low CD4 lymphocyte counts and who are not receiving prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / parasitology*
  • Child
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Toxoplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Toxoplasmosis / parasitology


  • DNA, Protozoan