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Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2010 Oct;23(5):488-93. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32833de0eb.

Newer diagnostic approaches to intestinal protozoa.

Author information

1
Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. lvanlieshout@lumc.nl

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

To update the reader on the latest developments in the laboratory diagnosis of intestinal protozoa.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Correct identification of a diarrhoea causing pathogens is essential for the choice of treatment in an individual patient as well as to map the aetiology of diarrhoea in a variety of patient populations. Classical diagnosis of diarrhoea causing protozoa by microscopic examination of a stool sample lacks both sensitivity and specificity. Alternative diagnostic platforms are discussed.

SUMMARY:

Recent literature on the diagnosis of intestinal protozoa has focused mainly on nucleic acid-based assays, in particular the specific detection of parasite DNA in stool samples using real-time PCR. In addition, the trend has been moving from single pathogen detection to a multiplex approach, allowing simultaneous identification of multiple parasites. Different combinations of targets can be used within a routine diagnostic setting, depending on the patient population, such as children, immunocompromised individuals and those who have been travelling to tropical regions. Large-scale monitoring and evaluation of control strategies become feasible due to automation and high-throughput facilities. Improved technology also has become available for differentiating protozoa subspecies, which facilitates outbreak investigations and extensive research in molecular epidemiology.

PMID:
20683263
DOI:
10.1097/QCO.0b013e32833de0eb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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