Studies reporting numbers of eggs in vagina and utero in nematodes often give little information of the technique used for the estimations. This situation hampers comparison among studies, because, so far, differences in estimations provided by different techniques have not been assessed. This note examines whether a manual method based on visual counts in aliquots and an automated method using a Coulter counter yield equivalent estimations of egg numbers in vagina and utero of 3 anisakid nematode species (Anisakis simplex, Pseudoterranova decipiens, and Contracaecum osculatum). The number of eggs from 50 females per nematode species was estimated using both techniques. The automated and manual methods yielded similar egg counts (correlation coefficients >0.9 in the 3 species), but the methods were not always statistically equivalent. The automated method was more precise and seemed less dependent on egg density, whereas the manual method was less time-consuming (contrary to previous perceptions) and less expensive. Despite the higher precision of automated counts, the manual technique seemed to produce similar estimates; thus, it may be particularly useful in developing countries where nematode parasitism is prevalent in humans and domestic animals, but scientific resources are limited.
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