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Pulmonary toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients with interstitial pneumonia: a single-centre prospective study assessing PCR-based diagnosis
  1. Guillaume Desoubeaux1,2,
  2. Églantine Cabanne1,
  3. Claire Franck-Martel1,
  4. Martin Gombert1,
  5. Emmanuel Gyan3,4,
  6. Séverine Lissandre3,
  7. Marc Renaud3,
  8. Hélène Monjanel3,
  9. Caroline Dartigeas3,
  10. Éric Bailly1,
  11. Nathalie Van Langendonck1,
  12. Jacques Chandenier1,2
  1. 1Service de Parasitologie—Mycologie—Médecine tropicale, CHU de Tours, Tours, France
  2. 2Faculté de Médecine, Université François-Rabelais, CEPR—INSERM U1100/Équipe 3, Université François-Rabelais Tours, France
  3. 3Service d'Hématologie et Thérapie Cellulaire, CHU de Tours, Tours, France
  4. 4Faculté de Médecine, Université François-Rabelais, N2C—INSERM U1069, Université François-Rabelais Tours, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guillaume Desoubeaux, Service de Parasitologie—Mycologie—Médecine tropicale, CHU de Tours, Hôpital Bretonneau, Pôle de Biologie Médicale, Bâtiment B2A—1er étage, 2 boulevard Tonnellé, 37044 CHU de TOURS Cedex 9, France; guillaume.desoubeaux{at}


Aims Pulmonary toxoplasmosis has become a very rare parasitic infection since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapies. It is generally diagnosed by the direct microscopic observation of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The aim of this study was to assess possible improvements in diagnostic performance associated with the use of real-time PCR.

Methods This prospective study was carried out on BALFs obtained from immunocompromised patients over a 2-year period. We systematically compared the results of conventional staining with those of molecular detection.

Results Two cases of pulmonary toxoplasmosis were diagnosed for a total of 336 samples. PCR did not detect any additional cases and was more time-consuming than conventional staining.

Conclusions Conventional staining is a reliable technique and is probably the most appropriate method for experienced microbiology laboratories, whereas T. gondii-specific PCR may be useful for laboratories with less experience in parasitology.

Trial registration number 2015_030, May 27th 2015.

  • PCR
  • LUNG

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