Volume 52, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Diagnosis of is made by the identification of oocysts in stool specimens. Screening in field studies relies mainly on acid-fast staining followed by microscopic examination. The more sensitive immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) staining method is time-consuming, may involve technical difficulties, and is extremely costly as a screening procedure in field studies. We evaluated the diagnostic utility of a commercially available enzyme immunoassay (EIA), which detects -specific antigen, in 204 unprocessed stool specimens obtained from patients less than three years of age from a field study in southern Israel. When compared with the routine screening procedure applied in this field study (screening by acid-fast staining and microscopy after concentration, and confirmation of positive results by IFA), both the sensitivity and specificity were 98%. Of 139 specimens negative by microscopy, 13 (9.3%) were positive by the EIA. Eleven of these were confirmed by inhibition with antibody to -specific antigen. The EIA is an important tool for identifying in fecal specimens in field studies since it is sensitive, specific, simple to use, and unaffected by the presence of a preservative.


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