Comparison between Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction and Sodium Nitrate Flotation Microscopy in Diagnosing Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections

Adam W. Bartlett, Rebecca Traub, Salvador Amaral, Sze Fui Hii, Naomi E. Clarke, Alexander Matthews, Patsy A. Zendejas-Heredia, Paul Arkell, Merita Antonia Armindo Monteiro, Virginia da Conceicao, Carolina da Costa Maia, Maria Imaculada Soares, Josefina D. Prisca Guterres, Joshua R. Francis, Susana Vaz Nery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is evolving interest in alternate microscopy techniques and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to evaluate soil-transmitted helminth (STH) burden. Using data from a cross-sectional survey of 540 schoolchildren across six primary schools in three municipalities of Timor-Leste, we compared the performance of microscopy using sodium nitrate flotation (SNF) and qPCR in determining STH prevalence and infection intensity. Prevalence by qPCR was higher than SNF for Ascaris lumbricoides (17.5% versus 11.2%), hookworm (8.3% versus 1.2%), and Trichuris trichiura (4.7% versus 1.6%). Agreement between SNF and qPCR was fair for hookworm (κ = 0.21) and moderate for A. lumbricoides (κ = 0.59) and T. trichiura (κ = 0.44). Moderate or heavy intensity infections were identified in 15.9% of infections detected by SNF, whereas qPCR identified 36.1% as moderate or heavy infections using cycle threshold to eggs per gram conversion formulas. Quantitative PCR is a promising diagnostic technique, though further studies validating infection intensity correlates are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1213
Number of pages4
JournalThe American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Volume105
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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