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6 February 2019 Easyscreen Enteric Protozoa Assay for the Detection of Intestinal Parasites: A Retrospective Bi-Center Study
Giorgio Dirani, Silvia Zannoli, Elena Paesini, Patrizia Farabegoli, Barbara Dalmo, Caterina Vocale, Giovanna Liguori, Stefania Varani, Vittorio Sambri
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Abstract

Gastroenteritis caused by single or multiple pathogens remains a major diagnostic challenge for the laboratory, as diagnosis is achieved using different techniques with variable sensitivity and specificity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the EasyScreen Enteric Protozoa Detection Kit, a multiplex PCR assay for the detection and identification of the 5 most common protozoan parasites in fecal samples. A total of 632 fecal samples, submitted for routine screening to 2 centers in northeastern Italy, was included in the study. The results of the molecular assay were compared to those of the standard diagnostic procedures, represented by microscopy and immunoassays. Out of 32 samples testing positive by conventional tools, 31 were detected as concordantly positive using the EasyScreen Kit. Additionally, 91 out of 632 samples only tested positive by the molecular test, therefore increasing the positive detection rate by 275%. Finally, the EasyScreen assay detected 14 co-infections compared to 3 co-infections identified by conventional methods. The EasyScreen Kit provided a rapid and sensitive simultaneous identification of the most important diarrhea-causing protozoa that infect humans. Additionally, this molecular assay presents several advantages compared to conventional tools, such as the standardization and near-total automation of the process. Although critical issues related to the employment of molecular assays are still evident, the system is suitable for clinical parasitological diagnosis as long as it is used in association with conventional tools.

© American Society of Parasitologists 2019
Giorgio Dirani, Silvia Zannoli, Elena Paesini, Patrizia Farabegoli, Barbara Dalmo, Caterina Vocale, Giovanna Liguori, Stefania Varani, and Vittorio Sambri "Easyscreen Enteric Protozoa Assay for the Detection of Intestinal Parasites: A Retrospective Bi-Center Study," Journal of Parasitology 105(1), 58-63, (6 February 2019). https://doi.org/10.1645/18-52
Published: 6 February 2019
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