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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e24830. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024830. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Dipstick test for rapid diagnosis of Shigella dysenteriae 1 in bacterial cultures and its potential use on stool samples.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.



We describe a test for rapid detection of S. dysenteriae 1 in bacterial cultures and in stools, at the bedside of patients.


The test is based on the detection of S. dysenteriae 1 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) using serotype 1-specific monoclonal antibodies coupled to gold particles and displayed on a one-step immunochromatographic dipstick. A concentration as low as 15 ng/ml of LPS was detected in distilled water and in reconstituted stools in 10 minutes. In distilled water and in reconstituted stools, an unequivocal positive reaction was obtained with 1.6×10⁶ CFU/ml and 4.9×10⁶ CFU/ml of S. dysenteriae 1, respectively. Optimal conditions to read the test have been determined to limit the risk of ambiguous results due to appearance of a faint yellow test band in some negative samples. The specificity was 100% when tested with a battery of Shigella and unrelated strains in culture. When tested on 328 clinical samples in India, Vietnam, Senegal and France by laboratory technicians and in Democratic Republic of Congo by a field technician, the specificity (312/316) was 98.7% (95% CI:96.6-99.6%) and the sensitivity (11/12) was 91.7% (95% CI:59.8-99.6%). Stool cultures and the immunochromatographic test showed concordant results in 98.4 % of cases (323/328) in comparative studies. Positive and negative predictive values were 73.3% (95% CI:44.8-91.1%) and 99.7% (95% CI:98-100%).


The initial findings presented here for a simple dipstick-based test to diagnose S. dysenteriae 1 demonstrates its promising potential to become a powerful tool for case management and epidemiological surveys.

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