Comparison of stool antigen detection kits to PCR for diagnosis of amebiasis

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Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2008, 46 (5), pp. 1678 - 1681
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The present study was conducted to compare two stool antigen detection kits with PCR for the diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica infections by using fecal specimens submitted to the Department of Microbiology at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, and the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia. A total of 279 stool samples containing the E complex (E. histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, and Entamoeba moshkovskii) were included in this study. The stool specimens were tested by using two commercially produced enzyme immunoassays (the Entamoeba CELISA PATH and TechLab E. histolytica II kits) to detect antigens of E. histolytica. DNA was extracted from all of the samples with a Qiagen DNA stool mini kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany), and a PCR targeting the small-subunit ribosomal DNA was performed on all of the samples. When PCR was used as a reference standard, the CELISA PATH kit showed 28% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The TechLab ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) kit did not prove to be useful in detecting E. histolytica, as it failed to identify any of the E. histolytica samples which were positive by PCR. With the TechLab kit, cross-reactivity was observed for three specimens, one of which was positive for both E. dispar and E. moshkovskii while the other two samples contained E. moshkovskii. Quantitative assessment of the PCR and ELISA results obtained showed that the ELISA kits were 1,000 to 10,000 times less sensitive, and our results show that the CELISA PATH kit and the TechLab ELISA are not useful for the detection of E. histolytica in stool samples from patients in geographical regions where this parasite is not endemic. Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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