Study of diagnostic accuracy of Helmintex, Kato-Katz, and POC-CCA methods for diagnosing intestinal schistosomiasis in Candeal, a low intensity transmission area in Northeastern Brazil

Catieli Gobetti Lindholz, Vivian Favero, Carolina De Marco Verissimo, Renata Russo Frasca Candido, R. P. de Souza, R. R. dos Santos, Alessandra Loureiro Morassutti, H. R. Bittencourt, Malcolm K. Jones, Timothy St Pierre, Carlos Graeff-Teixeira

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Control initiatives have successfully reduced the prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis transmission in several localities around the world. However, individuals that release low numbers of eggs in their feces may not be detected by classical methods that are limited by low sensitivity. Given that accurate estimates of prevalence are key to implementing planning control actions for the elimination of schistosomiasis, new diagnostic tools are needed to effectively monitor infections and confirm transmission interruption. The World Health Organization recommends the Kato-Katz (KK) thick smear as a parasitological test for epidemiological surveys, even though this method has been demonstrated to underestimate prevalence when egg burdens are low. The point-of-care immunodiagnostic for detecting schistosome cathodic circulating antigen (POC-CCA) method has been proposed as a more sensitive substitute for KK in prevalence estimations. An alternative diagnostic, the Helmintex (HTX) method, isolates eggs from fecal samples with the use of paramagnetic particles in a magnetic field. Here, a population-based study involving 461 individuals from Candeal, Sergipe State, Brazil, was conducted to evaluate these three methods comparatively by latent class analysis (LCA). The prevalence of schistosomiasis mansoni was determined to be 71% with POC-CCA, 40.% with HTX and 11% with KK. Most of the egg burdens of the individuals tested (70%) were < 1 epg, thereby revealing a dissociation between prevalence and intensity in this locality. Therefore, the present results confirm that the HTX method is a highly sensitive egg detection procedure and support its use as a reference method for diagnosing intestinal schistosomiasis and for comparative evaluation of other tests. © 2018 Lindholz et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0006274
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018


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