Strongyloidiasis in humans: Diagnostic efficacy of four conventional methods and real-time polymerase chain reaction

Laura Francisca Campo-Polanco, José Mauricio Hernández Sarmiento, Miguel Antonio Mesa, Carlos Jaime Velásquez Franco, Lucelly López, Luz Elena Botero, Lina Andrea Gutiérrez Builes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Introduction: Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal parasitic nematode that causes hyperinfection and/or a dissemination syndrome in hosts, which is often difficult to diagnose. This study aims to compare the diagnostic efficacy of four conventional methods used to diagnose strongyloidiasis with real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect S. stercoralis in fecal samples. Methods: We analyzed 143 fecal samples collected from Colombian regions with varying degrees of risk for intestinal infections caused by S. stercoralis to assess the validity, performance, overall efficiency, and concordance of the qPCR using a direct stool test, modified Ritchie concentration technique, agar plate culture, and Harada-Mori technique as reference tests. Results: While four fecal samples were positive for S. stercoralis using conventional methods, 32 were positive via qPCR. The diagnostic sensitivity of the qPCR was 75% [95% confidence interval (CI): 20.07-100%], whereas its specificity, negative predictive value, negative likelihood ratio, and Youden’s J index were 78.42% (95% CI: 71.22-85.62%), 99.09% (95% CI: 96.86-100%), 0.32 (95% CI: 0.06-1.74), and 0.53, respectively. In addition, the estimated kappa index between the qPCR and the conventional methods was 0.12 (95% CI: -0.020-0.26). Conclusions: The diagnostic sensitivity of qPCR to detect strongyloidiasis is analogous to that of conventional parasitology methods, with an additional advantage of being capable of identifying the parasite DNA at low sample concentrations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-502
    Number of pages10
    JournalRevista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was funded by the Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo y la Innovación (CIDI) at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana through the projects with filing numbers: 175-11/11 935A and 252B-08/14-44.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018, Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical. All rights reserved.


    • Helminthology
    • Intestinal diseases
    • Molecular diagnostic techniques
    • Strongyloides stercoralis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Strongyloidiasis in humans: Diagnostic efficacy of four conventional methods and real-time polymerase chain reaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this