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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Aug 1;7(8):e2344. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002344. Print 2013.

Mini-FLOTAC, an innovative direct diagnostic technique for intestinal parasitic infections: experience from the field.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Microbiology San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. beatrice.barda@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Soil-transmitted helminths and intestinal protozoa infection are widespread in developing countries, yet an accurate diagnosis is rarely performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the recently developed mini-FLOTAC method and to compare with currently more widely used techniques for the diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infections in different settings.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The study was carried out in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India, and in Bukumbi, Tanzania. A total of 180 pupils from two primary schools had their stool analyzed (n = 80 in Dharamsala and n = 100 in Bukumbi) for intestinal parasitic infections with three diagnostic methods: direct fecal smear, formol-ether concentration method (FECM) and mini-FLOTAC. Overall, 72% of the pupils were positive for any intestinal parasitic infection, 24% carried dual infections and 11% three infections or more. The most frequently encountered intestinal parasites were Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia intestinalis, hookworm, (and Schistosoma mansoni, in Tanzania). Statistically significant differences were found in the detection of parasitic infections among the three methods: mini-FLOTAC was the most sensitive method for helminth infections (90% mini-FLOTAC, 60% FECM, and 30% direct fecal smear), whereas FECM was most sensitive for intestinal protozoa infections (88% FECM, 70% direct fecal smear, and 68% mini-FLOTAC).

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:

We present the first experiences with the mini-FLOTAC for the diagnosis of intestinal helminths and protozoa. Our results suggest that it is a valid, sensitive and potentially low-cost alternative technique that could be used in resource-limited settings--particularly for helminth diagnosis.

PMID:
23936577
PMCID:
PMC3731229
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pntd.0002344
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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