Efficacy of Stool Examination for Detection of Strongyloides Infection

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  • Department of Parasitology, and Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Izumizaki Hospital, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan

To determine the efficacy of stool examination for detection of Strongyloides infection, 1,350 stool samples collected in Japan, Brazil, and Thailand were examined by four different methods (direct fecal smear, formalin-ether concentration, Harada-Mori filter paper culture, and agar plate culture). The newly developed agar plate culture method was highly effective; more than 96% of the positive cases were diagnosed by this method. The coprologic examination, however, was not sensitive enough for detecting chronic infections because more than 40% of the positive cases were overlooked even when persons with proven Strongyloides infection were re-examined several months later without intervening treatment. Therefore, it is essential to examine stool samples repeatedly to achieve a correct diagnosis, and even so, it is important to note that a negative result does not necessarily indicate the unequivocal absence of the infection.

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