1921
Volume 95, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract

Historically, the diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) (e.g., , , , , and ) has relied on often-insensitive microscopy techniques. Over the past several years, there has been an effort to use molecular diagnostics, particularly quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), to detect intestinal pathogens. While some platforms have been approved by regulatory bodies (e.g., Food and Drug Administration) to detect intestinal bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, there are no approved tests currently available for STH. Although studies comparing qPCR to microscopy methods for STH are imperfect, due in large part to a lack of a sufficient gold standard, they do show a significant increase in sensitivity and specificity of qPCR compared with microscopic techniques. These studies, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using qPCR for STH diagnosis, are discussed. Guidelines for those designing future studies utilizing qPCR are proposed for optimizing results, as is the proposition for using standardized molecular diagnostics routinely for STH in clinical laboratories and for field-based studies when possible.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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2017-11-20
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  • Received : 05 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 29 Jun 2016

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