Volume 68, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Fecal samples from 194 individuals living in an area of Brazil endemic for were analyzed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the Kato-Katz parasitologic examination. Statistical analysis of the results showed a kappa index of 0.8 between the two methods. The prevalence of infection was 30.9% in three fecal samples examined by the Kato-Katz method, but 38.1% in one fecal sample examined by the PCR technique. Repeated survey of discordant results showed that five (41.6%) of 12 parasitologically negative cases for which PCR gave positive results were misdiagnosed by Kato-Katz examinations. The PCR technique showed a sensitivity of 96.7% and a specificity of 88% when the parasitologic examination was used as the reference test. The efficacy of cure with praziquantel was 87.8% in three parasitologic stool examinations and 75.6% in one PCR survey. These results demonstrate that the PCR assay might be a valuable alternative for diagnosing infections.


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  • Received : 26 Oct 2002
  • Accepted : 03 Feb 2003

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