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Pneumocystis jirovecii

Pneumocystis jirovecii
is an extracellular eukaryotic organism recently shown to be related to the fungi. It is an opportunistic pathogen causing interstitial pneumonia in immunosuppressed hosts, such as premature infants, children with congenital immunodeficiencies and organ transplant recipients. With the advent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, P. jirovecii pneumonia has merged as the most common life-threatening opportunistic infection in these patients. It occurs in over 75% of AIDS patients and is usually associated with diminished CD4 cell counts.



Pneumocystis jirovecii is generally confined to the lungs, although there have been recent reports of disseminated extrapulmonary disease. Symptoms include fever, non-productive coughing, and shortness of breath.


Life cycle

The most common form of P. jirovecii is the thick-walled cyst containing up to 8 intracystic bodies (sporozoites). These mature into extracystic pleomorphic forms, the trophozoites. The development cycle occurs in both the alveolar epithelial cells and
in the alveolar spaces.


Principle of the test

PC may be identified by a variety of histochemical stains such as methenamine silver, Giemsa and toluidine blue. The stains can, however, be difficult to perform, are non-specific, and may not detect all stages of the life cycle of the organism. Experience is also required for interpretation. More recently, immunofluorescence assays using monoclonal antibodies to PC have been developed. These techniques are rapid, easy to perform and specimens from induced sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage can be used, thus avoiding the need for more invasive procedures such as lung and transbronchial biopsies. The Cellabs Pneumo Cel Indirect IFA has been shown to be both specific and sensitive, and more sensitive than biochemical staining.


Pneumo CEL (Indirect IFA)


The Cellabs Pneumo CEL Indirect IFA kit is an indirect immunofluorescence assay for the detection of
Pneumocystis jirovecii organisms in patient specimens (sputum or  broncheoalveolar lavage).

• Superior clinical reliability
• Monoclonal antibody specific for cysts and trophozoites
• Tests slides can be interpreted in less than two minutes
• No enzyme pre-treatment required
• Simple and rapid (30 minutes incubation)
• Excellent performance on induced sputum or
broncheoalveolar lavage


Please note, the Pneumo Cel Direct IFA kit is currently unavalable - the alternative Pneumo Cel IFA Indirect Kit uses the same antibody as the Pneumo Cel Direct kit.