A diagnostic study comparing conventional and real-time PCR for Strongyloides stercoralis on urine and on faecal samples

Fabio Formenti, Giulia La Marca, Francesca Perandin, Barbara Pajola, Miryam Romano, Beatrice Santucci, Ronaldo Silva, Giovanni Giorli, Zeno Bisoffi, Dora Buonfrate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminth with a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical areas. The diagnosis of S. stercoralisinfection can be challenging, due to the low sensitivity of microscopic examination of stool samples and coproculture. In the last decade, different in-house molecular biology techniques for S. stercoralis have been implemented. They demonstrated good accuracy, although sensitivity does not seem sufficiently high yet. Recently, a novel PCR technique has been evaluated for the detection of S. stercoralis DNA in urine. Aim of this work was to compare the sensitivity of the real-time PCR (qPCR) on feces routinely used at the Centre for Tropical Disease (CTD) of Negrar, Verona, Italy, with that of the novel based PCR on urine. As secondary objective, we evaluated a Urine Conditioning Buffer ® (Zymoresearch) with the aim of improving nucleic acid stability in urine during sample storage/transport at ambient temperatures. Patients attending the CTD and resulting positive at routine screening with serology for S. stercoralis were invited, previous written consent, to supply stool and urine samples for molecular biology. A convenience sample of 30 patients was included. The sensitivity of qPCR on feces resulted 63%, and that of based PCR on urine was 17%. In all the samples treated with the Urine Conditioning Buffer ® there was no detectable DNA. In conclusion, the sensitivity of the novel technique resulted low, and needs further implementation before being considered as a valid alternative to the validated method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-287
Number of pages4
JournalActa Tropica
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic test
  • DNA
  • Fecal specimen
  • Strongyloides stercoralis
  • Urine specimen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'A diagnostic study comparing conventional and real-time PCR for Strongyloides stercoralis on urine and on faecal samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this