Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pneumonia Main Page

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

Chest X Ray



Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests On the Web

Most recent articles

cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

CDC on Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests in the news

Blogs on Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia

Risk calculators and risk factors for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia laboratory tests

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


The specific diagnosis is based on identification of P. jirovecii in bronchopulmonary secretions obtained as induced sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) material. In situations where these two techniques cannot be used, transbronchial biopsy or open lung biopsy may prove necessary. Microscopic identification of P. jiroveci trophozoites and cysts is performed with stains that demonstrate either the nuclei of trophozoites and intracystic stages (such as Giemsa) or the cyst walls (such as the silver stains). In addition, immunofluorescence microscopy using monoclonal antibodies can identify the organisms with higher sensitivity than conventional microscopy.

Laboratory Findings


Pneumocystis jirovecii trophozoites

A: Pneumocystis jirovecii trophozoites in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) material. Giemsa stain. The trophozoites are small (size: 1 to 5 µm), and only their nuclei, stained purple, are visible (arrows). AIDS patient seen in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pneumocystis jirovecii cysts

Pneumocystis jirovecii cysts

B: 3 cysts in bronchoalveolar material, Giemsa stain; the rounded cysts (size 4 to 7 µm) contain 6 to 8 intracystic bodies, whose nuclei are stained by Giemsa; the walls of the cysts are not stained; note the presence of several smaller, isolated trophozoites.
C: Cysts in lung tissue, silver stain; the walls of the cysts are stained black; the intracystic bodies are not visible with this stain; baby who died with pneumonia in California.

Pneumocystis jirovecii cysts

D: Pneumocystis jirovecii cysts in bronchoalveolar lavage material; silver stain; this greater magnification shows the irregular, saucer shape of the cysts.

Pneumocystis jirovecii

E: Indirect immunofluorescence using monoclonal antibodies against Pneumocystis jirovecii. Specimen from a patient with AIDS, seen in Georgia.


Agarose gel - PCR for Pneumocystis

Molecular methods for detection of P. jirovecii have shown very high sensitivity and specificity and constitute the gold standard for detection of this pathogen.

A: Agarose gel (2%) analysis of PCR-amplified products from DNA extracted from a bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) diagnostic specimen of a patient with pulmonary symptoms.

  • Lane S: Molecular base pair standard (100-bp ladder). Black arrows show the size of standard bands.
  • Lane 1: Single step PCR amplification with the pAZ102-E/pAZ102-H primer pair1 - diagnostic band size: 346 bp.
  • Lane 2: Nested PCR amplification with the ITS nested PCR primers, 1724F/ITS2R (first round) and ITS1F/ITS2R1 (second round)2 -diagnostic band size: 550 bp.


Template:WH Template:WS