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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.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin microbiol

Publication Date





2183 - 2190


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Animals, Child, Child, Preschool, Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Feces, Female, Humans, Infant, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Male, Microscopy, Middle Aged, Parasitology, Protozoan Infections, Sensitivity and Specificity, Specimen Handling, Young Adult