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Improved stool concentration procedure for detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in fecal specimens

, : Improved stool concentration procedure for detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in fecal specimens. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 30(11): 2869-2873

Epidemiologic and laboratory data suggest that coprodiagnostic methods may fail to detect Cryptosporidium oocysts in stool specimens of infected patients. To improve the efficacy of stool concentration procedures, we modified different steps of the Formalin-ethyl acetate (FEA) stool concentration technique and evaluated these modifications by examining stool samples seeded with known numbers of Cryptosporidium oocysts. Because these modifications failed to improve oocyst detection, we developed a new stool concentration technique that includes FEA sedimentation followed by layering and flotation over hypertonic sodium chloride solution to separate parasites from stool debris. Compared with the standard FEA procedure, this technique improved Cryptosporidium oocyst detection. The sensitivities of the two concentration techniques were similar for diarrheal (watery) stool specimens (100% of watery stool specimens seeded with 5,000 oocysts per g of stool were identified as positive by the new technique, compared with 90% of stools processed by the standard FEA technique). However, the most significant improvement in diagnosis occurred with formed stool specimens that were not fatty; 70 to 90% of formed stool specimens seeded with 5,000 oocysts were identified as positive by the new technique, compared with 0% of specimens processed by the standard FEA technique. One hundred percent of formed specimens seeded with 10,000 oocysts were correctly diagnosed by using the new technique, while 0 to 60% of specimens processed by the standard FEA technique were found positive. Similarly, only 50 to 90% of stool specimens seeded with 50,000 oocysts were identified as positive by using the standard FEA technique, compared with a 100% positive rate by the new technique. The new stool concentration procedure provides enhanced detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in all stool samples.


PMID: 1452656

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