Is the multiparallel quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique superior to Kato-Katz microscopy in assessing the intensity and prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections in stool?
Preliminary Findings and Lessons Learned
- qPCR was more sensitive than Kato-Katz at detecting Ascaris, Trichuris, and hookworm infections in child fecal samples.
- Very few samples were helminth positive by Kato-Katz microscopy that were not also positive by qPCR, suggesting minimal human classification error during microscopy.
- Duplicate qPCR analysis on ~10% of samples by two separate labs (Smith and KEMRI) showed excellent concordance (97-100% agreement for each helminth species).
- A reanalysis of the effect of a combined water, sanitation, and hand washing (WASH) intervention on child helminth infections with qPCR data compared to Kato-Katz data gave very similar results.