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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 6205257, 6 pages
Research Article

Selecting PCR for the Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasitosis: Choice of Targets, Evaluation of In-House Assays, and Comparison with Commercial Kits

1Research Unit of Clinical Microbiology, Institute of Clinical Research Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
3Department of Clinical Microbiology, Slagelse Hospital, Slagelse, Denmark

Correspondence should be addressed to G. N. Hartmeyer; kd.dysr@reyemtrah.ettig

Received 9 May 2017; Accepted 31 July 2017; Published 30 August 2017

Academic Editor: Bernard Marchand

Copyright © 2017 G. N. Hartmeyer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Microscopy of stool samples is a labour-intensive and inaccurate technique for detection of intestinal parasites causing diarrhoea and replacement by PCR is attractive. Almost all cases of diarrhoea induced by parasites over a nine-year period in our laboratory were due to Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium species, or Entamoeba histolytica detected by microscopy. We evaluated and selected in-house singleplex real-time PCR (RT-PCR) assays for these pathogens in 99 stool samples from patients suspected of having intestinal parasitosis tested by microscopy. The strategy included a genus-specific PCR assay for C. parvum and C. hominis, with subsequent identification by a PCR that distinguishes between the two species. G. lamblia was detected in five and C. parvum in one out of 68 microscopy-negative samples. The performance of the in-house RT-PCR assays was compared to three commercially available multiplex test (MT-PCR) kit systems in 81 stool samples, collected in 28 microscopy-positive and 27 microscopy-negative samples from individuals suspected of intestinal parasitosis and in 26 samples from individuals without suspicion of parasitic infection. The in-house assays detected parasites in more samples from patients suspected of having parasitosis than did any of the kits. We conclude that commercial kits are targeting relevant parasites, but their performance may vary.