A new miracidia hatching device for diagnosing schistosomiasis

  • Jurberg A
  • De Oliveira Á
  • Lenzi H
 et al. 
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It is still imperative to develop a parasitological technique highly sensitive for diagnosing schistosomiasis in epidemiological and individual surveys. A simple and cheap hatching device with a collecting container was manu-factured and tested under experimental conditions. Twelve Kato-Katz slides were performed as golden standard for comparison. Quantitative results can be carried out by counting miracidia in a plate and parasite load can be calcu-lated (miracidia/gram of feces). Statistically significant values were higher in the hatching test. More sensitive results, with statistical significance, were achieved using 1.5 g of feces (which corresponds to 36 Kato-Katz slides) than by using the Kato-Katz method. Advantages of this technique and its limitations are presented. Accurate, inexpensive, rapid, and sensitive meth-ods for diagnosis of human schistosomiasis mansoni on large populations and individual cases are imperative to control efforts, mainly based on treatment of infected people, sanitary engineering, health education, and snail control. Because of its relative simplicity and low-cost, the quantitative Kato-Katz fecal smear technique (Katz et al. 1972) is considered by the World Health Organiza-tion as the golden standard method for diagnosing this disease (WHO 1993). Nevertheless, low endemicity, post-treatment circumstances, or control of transmission can reduce worm burden and consequently decrease its sensitivity (Enk 2006). Other approaches as immunologic methods could be more sensitive, but are more expensive and could present cross reactivity with other helminthic infections. These tests might not revert to negative after cure by chemo-therapy. On the other hand, DNA-based detection tech-nologies are very sensitive and specific, but are also very expensive and difficult to be performed in large scale, mainly under field conditions. A more sensitive parasi-tological methodology used as alternative is the hatching test for detection of miracidia. Hatching methods are based on the strong positive phototropic behavior of the miracidia. It is interesting to note that Biomphalaria glabrata also presents positive phototropism. This synchronistic behavior certainly fa-cilitates the finding of their intermediate hosts (Williams & Coelho 1975) by the parasites. However, the lack of standardized procedures for performing the hatching test has led to a considerable variety of results. Recently, Yu et al. (2007) compared the Kato-Katz method (duplicate

Author-supplied keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Feces
  • Schistosoma mansoni

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  • Arnon D. Jurberg

  • Áureo A. De Oliveira

  • Henrique L. Lenzi

  • Paulo Marcos Z. Coelho

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