Comparison of the Flotac-400 dual technique and the formalin-ether concentration technique for diagnosis of human intestinal protozoon infection.
Becker SL., Lohourignon LK., Speich B., Rinaldi L., Knopp S., N'goran EK., Cringoli G., Utzinger J.
There is a need for accurate diagnosis of intestinal parasite infections in humans, but currently available copromicroscopic techniques have shortcomings, such as low sensitivity. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of a further modified version of the recently developed Flotac technique with that of the widely used formalin-ether concentration technique (FECT) for the detection of intestinal protozoa in human stool samples. Formaldehyde-preserved stool samples from 108 individuals in Côte d'Ivoire were subjected to the Flotac-400 dual technique, using two different flotation solutions (FS), and to the FECT. Stool samples were examined according to computer-generated random lists by an experienced laboratory technician blinded for the results of each method. Both methods detected the same eight intestinal protozoon species. While the Flotac-400 dual technique (results from both FS combined) found higher prevalences of Entamoeba coli (77.8% versus 71.3%, P < 0.001), Blastocystis hominis (20.4% versus 13.0%, P = 0.458), and Giardia intestinalis (8.3% versus 6.5%, P < 0.001), the FECT detected higher prevalences of Entamoeba histolytica/Entamoeba dispar (27.8% versus 20.4%, P = 0.019) and four species of nonpathogenic intestinal protozoa. The diagnostic agreement between the two methods differed considerably depending on the intestinal protozoon investigated (Cohen's kappa measures; range, 0.01 to 0.46). Our study confirmed that the Flotac-400 dual technique can be utilized for the diagnosis of intestinal protozoon infections in humans. Since Flotac is a sensitive technique for the detection of soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma mansoni, it might become a viable copromicroscopic technique for the concurrent diagnosis of helminths and intestinal protozoon infections.