Comparison of muti-parallel qPCR and Kato-Katz for detection of STH in Kenyan children

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.


Implementation partner(s): KEMRI
WHO Region: AFRO


Effects of single and integrated water, sanitation, handwashing, and nutrition interventions on child soil-transmitted helminth and Giardia infections: A cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Kenya

Pickering AJ, Njenga SM, Steinbaum L, Swarthout J, Lin A, et al.
2019, Issue no. 16, pages (6): e1002841


This study is associated with NTD-SC #89 in Bangladesh.

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