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Improved Detection of Strongyloides stercoralis in Modified Agar Plate Cultures

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  • 1 Cátedra de Parasitología, Escuela de Medicina “José María Vargas,” Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 2 Laboratorio de Parasitosis Intestinales, Escuela de Medicina “José María Vargas,” Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 3 Medicina Interna-Hematología, Centro Médico de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela.

A modification of Koga agar plate culture was performed, consisting of a 2 × 2-cm cellophane paper centered on the agar plate to prevent bacterial contamination of the agar and daily dish examinations (days 2–5). Between January 2000 and July 2005, we examined 1,708 infection-suspected patients, of which 147 (8.6%) harbored S. stercoralis. Single modified agar plate cultures exhibited superior sensitivity (93.2%), compared with different three-sample screening methods (sensitivity—Baermann: 76.6%, formalin-ethyl acetate: 22%, and direct smear: 15.3%). Agar plate cultures stand out as helpful alternatives for improved detection and therapy monitoring in poor countries and endemic areas. Combined with Baermann methods, they provide increased probability for S. stercoralis detection.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Leonor A. Pocaterra, Cátedra de Parasitología, Escuela de Medicina “José María Vargas,” Edificio 2, Segundo piso, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Esquina de Pirineos, San José, Caracas 1010, Venezuela. E-mail: leopoca@gmail.com

Authors' addresses: Leonor A. Pocaterra, Rosaura Peñaranda, Elsy Rojas, Gladymar Pérez-Chacón, Aurora Hernán, Gabriela Certad, and Luz Núñez, Cátedra de Parasitología, “Escuela de Medicina Jose Maria Vargas,” Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela, E-mails: leopoca@gmail.com, rosaura_penaranda@yahoo.com.br, elsyrjs@hotmail.com, gladymar@gmail.com, aurorahrnn@hotmail.com, gabrielacertad@hotmail.com, and nenagold@gmail.com. Giuseppe Ferrara, Laboratorio de Parasitosis Intestinales, Cátedra de Parasitología, Escuela de Medicina “José María Vargas,” Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela, E-mail: gferrara1971@gmail.com. Carlos Goldstein, Medicina Interna-Hematología, Centro Médico de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela, E-mail: carlosgolds@gmail.com.

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