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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-91

Laboratory diagnosis of soil transmitted helminthiasis

Department of Medical Parasitology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumeeta Khurana
Department of Medical Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_29_17

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Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) include, i.e., hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus), roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and Strongyloides stercoralis. Globally, around 1.5 billion people are infected with STHs. STHs contribute to significant impairment of mental and physical growth, especially in developing countries. Unfortunately, these infections mostly remain undiagnosed due to lack of trained personnel and appropriate technologies. Intermittent shedding of eggs or larvae further makes the diagnosis difficult. Thus, there is a dire need of rapid and accurate tests for the diagnosis of STHs. The diagnostic methods include conventional and molecular methods. Conventional methods include microscopy, culture, and egg counting. Serology has a role, especially in case of S. stercoralis where conventional methods have very poor sensitivities. The rapid, highly sensitive molecular techniques, particularly quantitative polymerase-chain reaction make it suitable for diagnosing STH over insensitive as well as labor-intensive conventional methods. Until now, molecular detection of STH was mainly restricted to the research setting, but now, there is recommendation of adopting molecular tests in the World Health Organization STH elimination programs. Thus, STH infections are important public health problems and should be appropriately diagnosed and managed to reduce the mortality and morbidity significantly.

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