A comparison of Kato-Katz technique to three other methods for diagnosis of Amphimerus spp. liver fluke infection and the prevalence of infection in Chachi Amerindians of Ecuador

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Abstract

Background Recently, a high prevalence of infection by the liver fluke Amphimerus spp. has been documented in the Chachi Amerindians of Ecuador. For diagnosis, no studies exist that compare the sensitivity of different coproparasitological detection techniques. The present study compares the Kato-Katz technique with three other coproparasitological methods for detecting eggs of Amphimerus in stools, as well as determines the prevalence of infection in Chachi residents in a Tropical rain forest area in the northwest coast of Ecuador. Methodology/Results A total of 105 samples, utilizing the Kato-Katz technique (KK), the spontaneous sedimentation technique in tube (SSTT), the formalin-ether concentration technique (FEC), and direct smear microscopy (DM), were examined. Combining the four methods (fixed 'gold' standard), 38 samples were positive with a prevalence of infection of 36.2%. The sensitivities of individual methods were 71%, 58%, 50% and 3% for KK, SSTT, FEC, and DM respectively. Our results indicated that KK alone had the best performance, detecting 27 (71%) of the 38 positive samples. The combination of KK and SSTT detected amphimeriasis in 36 (95%) samples, and KK and FEC in 31 (82%) samples. Conclusions DM showed the lowest sensitivity, which raises concern for its value, because it is the standard technique for stool examination for detection of parasites in both public and private laboratories in Ecuador. SSTT alone detected eggs in 22 samples (58%) and would be recommended for field studies because of its simplicity. Performing two techniques on a single sample enhances the detection of Amphimerus infection. Its sensitivity is relative to a fixed 'gold' standard, determined as the combined results of the four techniques performed. This study confirms the high prevalence of human infection by Amphimerus in the indigenous Chachi group where the first human cases were described.

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Calvopina, M., Romero-Alvarez, D., Diaz, F., Cevallos, W., & Sugiyama, H. (2018). A comparison of Kato-Katz technique to three other methods for diagnosis of Amphimerus spp. liver fluke infection and the prevalence of infection in Chachi Amerindians of Ecuador. PLoS ONE, 13(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203811

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