Utility of Multiple-Stool-Specimen Ova and Parasite Examinations in a High-Prevalence Setting

Charles P. Cartwright
1999 Journal of Clinical Microbiology  
A retrospective analysis of the results of 2,704 ova and parasite (O & P) examinations performed on stool specimens collected from 1,374 patients between October 1996 and September 1997 was performed to evaluate the utility of performing O & P examinations on multiple, independently collected stool specimens in a high-prevalence setting. A total of 995 specimens (36.8%) examined during the study contained parasites; 546 (20.2%) contained pathogenic organisms. The positivity rate (54.5%) for the
more » ... patients from whom three specimens were examined was significantly higher than for the patients from whom either two specimens (33.3%) or a single specimen (19.8%) was submitted for examination. For the group of patients from whom at least 3 specimens were submitted for O & P examination, 373 independent opportunities for diagnosing infection with intestinal parasites could be analyzed. The first stool specimen collected proved to be adequate in only 75.9% (283 of 373) of evaluated cases; however, examination of two specimens increased the sensitivity of O & P detection to 92% (343 of 373). The third specimen collected provided additional information on only 30 of 373 occasions (8%). These data indicate that in populations with a high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections, two independently collected stool specimens should be subjected to O & P examination to ensure adequate diagnostic sensitivity.
doi:10.1128/jcm.37.8.2408-2411.1999 fatcat:i35l54hgpnbchjk6yxv27u4jxi