Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



When considering methods of detecting in patient samples, clinical and public health laboratories have historically relied primarily on microscopy. However, microscopy is time intensive and requires trained personnel to accurately identify pathogens that are present. Even with skilled analysts, the parasitemia level has the potential to fall below the level of detection. In addition, public health laboratories do not always receive specimens in fixatives that are compatible with the desired microscopic method. Antigen-based and molecular methods have proven to be effective at identifying at low levels and require less training and hands-on time. Here, we have developed and validated a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory-developed test (LDT) that identifies and , and also includes detection at the genus level to identify additional species that occasionally cause disease in humans. Results of the molecular test were compared with those obtained from modified acid-fast microscopy, immunofluorescent microscopy, an antigen-based detection rapid test, and a commercial gastrointestinal panel (GI panel). Of 40 positive samples, microscopy and antigen-based methods were able to detect in only 20 and 21 samples, respectively. The GI panel detected 33 of the 40 positive samples, even though not all specimens were received in the recommended preservative. The LDT detected in all 40 positive samples. When comparing each method for the detection of , our results indicate the LDT is an accurate, reliable, and cost-effective method for a clinical public health reference laboratory.


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  • Received : 24 Oct 2019
  • Accepted : 11 Apr 2020
  • Published online : 26 May 2020
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