Volume 88, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Diagnosis of gastrointestinal parasites has traditionally relied on stool microscopy, which has low diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. We have developed a novel, rapid, high-throughput quantitative multi-parallel real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) platform. Species-specific primers/probes were used for eight common gastrointestinal parasite pathogens: , , , , spp., , , and . Stool samples from 400 13-month-old children in rural Ecuador were analyzed and the qPCR was compared with a standard direct wet mount slide for stool microscopy, as were 125 8–14-year-old children before and after anthelmintic treatment. The qPCR showed higher detection rates for all parasites compared with direct microscopy, (7.0% versus 5.5%) and for (31.5% versus 5.8%). Using an enhanced DNA extraction method, we were able to detect DNA. These assays will be useful to refine treatment options for affected populations, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.


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  • Received : 04 Dec 2012
  • Accepted : 18 Feb 2013
  • Published online : 05 Jun 2013

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