Mini-FLOTAC, an Innovative Direct Diagnostic Technique for Intestinal Parasitic Infections: Experience from the Field

Beatrice Divina Barda, Laura Rinaldi, Davide Ianniello, Henry Zepherine, Fulvio Salvo, Tsetan Sadutshang, Giuseppe Cringoli, Massimo Clementi, Marco Albonico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:Soil-transmitted helminths and intestinal protozoa infection are widespread in developing countries, yet an accurate diagnosis is rarely performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the recently developed mini-FLOTAC method and to compare with currently more widely used techniques for the diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infections in different settings.Methodology/Principal Findings:The study was carried out in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India, and in Bukumbi, Tanzania. A total of 180 pupils from two primary schools had their stool analyzed (n = 80 in Dharamsala and n = 100 in Bukumbi) for intestinal parasitic infections with three diagnostic methods: direct fecal smear, formol-ether concentration method (FECM) and mini-FLOTAC. Overall, 72% of the pupils were positive for any intestinal parasitic infection, 24% carried dual infections and 11% three infections or more. The most frequently encountered intestinal parasites were Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia intestinalis, hookworm, (and Schistosoma mansoni, in Tanzania). Statistically significant differences were found in the detection of parasitic infections among the three methods: mini-FLOTAC was the most sensitive method for helminth infections (90% mini-FLOTAC, 60% FECM, and 30% direct fecal smear), whereas FECM was most sensitive for intestinal protozoa infections (88% FECM, 70% direct fecal smear, and 68% mini-FLOTAC).Conclusion/Significance:We present the first experiences with the mini-FLOTAC for the diagnosis of intestinal helminths and protozoa. Our results suggest that it is a valid, sensitive and potentially low-cost alternative technique that could be used in resource-limited settings - particularly for helminth diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2344
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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