Author(s): Sithithaworn P, Srisawangwong T, Tesana S, Daenseekaew W, Sithithaworn J,
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Abstract Cross-sectional surveys of parasitic infection were performed using the agar plate culture technique (APCT) and modified formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique (MFECT) to assess the true prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis relative to other parasites in north-east Thailand. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection was used to estimate the seroprevalence for comparison with coproprevalence. Faecal and serum samples were collected from study participants during October-November 2000. Within the sample population of 332 rural northeast Thais from 3 communities, S. stercoralis was the most common parasitic infection (average 28.9\%, range 27.7-30.3\%) as determined by APCT; by MFECT the average was 5.4\% (range 1.8-8.6\%). Other intestinal parasites by order of prevalence were Opisthorchis viverrini (average 14.2\%, range 8.6-19.4\%), hookworm (average 12.3\%, range 4-20.2\%), Echinostoma sp. (7.5\%), Giardia intestinalis (0.9\%), Trichuris trichiura (0.6\%), and Taenia sp., Hymenolepis nana and Entamoeba coli (all 0.3\%). In an analysis of a subset of the sample population for which serum samples were available (n = 120), coproprevalence by APCT was 33.3\% (range 27-53.8\%) and seroprevalence was 47.5\% (range 29.7-57.9\%) by modified unit-based ELISA and 34.2\% (range 21.6-42.1\%) by conventional optical density (OD)-based ELISA. Taking APCT as the reference method for diagnosis of strongyloidiasis, the sensitivity and specificity of the OD-based ELISA were 65\% and 81.3\%, respectively, and of the unit-based ELISA were 77.5\% and 71.3\%, respectively. Our results indicate that S. stercoralis is the predominant parasite in rural north-east Thailand, and that APCT and ELISA should be used as complementary diagnostic methods for community-based parasite surveys, at least among those in high-risk groups.
This article was published in Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health