Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in Malawian children

Y Kamiya, E Mtitimila, S M Graham, R L Broadhead, B Brabin, C A Hart
Annals of Tropical Paediatrics 1997, 17 (2): 121-6
Sixty children aged between 1 and 23 months admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi for diagnosis of acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI) were investigated for laboratory diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) by indirect immunofluorescence assay on nasopharyngeal secretions. P. carinii was found in five of the 60 children. Three PCP cases had AIDS. The clinical presentation of children with PCP was of little diagnostic value and all the children were infants. Arterial oxygen saturation was significantly lower in PCP cases. Of the five PCP cases, four died, indicating that the marked hypoxaemia was associated with poor prognosis. These results indicate that an immunofluorescence assay on nasopharyngeal secretions could be used for first-line diagnosis of PCP in Africa.

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