Diagnostic Techniques of Soil-Transmitted Helminths: Impact on Control Measures
Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL), Lambaréné BP: 242, Gabon
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (MPI), Department of Microbiome Science, Max-Planck-Ring 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Institut für Tropenmedizin, Eberhad Karls Universität Tübingen, D-72074 Tübingen, Germany
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), partner site Hamburg-Luebeck-Borstel, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany
Department of Tropical Medicine, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and I. Department of Medicine University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), D-72074 Tübingen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020093
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 1 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 5 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diagnosis, Epidemiology and Control on Soil-Transmitted Helminth (STH) Infections)
Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are common in the tropical and subtropical countries. The burden of disease is highest in endemic areas with limited access to good quality water supply and poor sanitary conditions. Major approaches to control and reduce morbidity caused by worm infections include the periodic deworming of pre-school and school-aged children with anthelminthic drugs. Population-based studies and individual patient management including interventional studies can only be successful when accurate diagnostic techniques are used. The lack of appropriate diagnostic tools providing accurate results concerning both infectious status and intensity of infection—as these two factors vary in regions of low infection intensities—is a major challenge. Currently, available techniques show limited sensitivity and specificity and as such, a combination of several techniques is usually used to diagnose the large variety of parasite species. The objective of this review was to describe the advantages and disadvantages of the different available techniques for the diagnosis of STH infections and to highlight their use in control programs.