Chapter 54 : Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections

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Definitive diagnosis of parasitic infections is made by identification of parasites in properly collected specimens or in affected tissues. Microscopy for observation and identification of parasites is the laboratory method of choice for the diagnosis of some important parasitic infections, namely, malaria, babesiosis, and enteric parasitic infections. There are, however, important parasitic diseases that cannot be diagnosed by microscopic examination of clinical specimens. In infections such as angiostrongyliasis, schistosomiasis, paragonimiasis, and strongyloidiasis, parasites may be detected in stool or other specimens, but due to the limitations of intermittent shedding or sampling, direct observation of parasites is not sensitive or reliable. So, for these infections and others caused by parasites that are localized and sequestered in tissues, such as baylisascariasis, cysticercosis, echinococcosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, or trichinellosis, detection of specific antibodies is almost always required to confirm clinical suspicion.

Citation: Wilkins P, Nutman T. 2016. Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections, p 486-502. In Detrick B, Schmitz J, Hamilton R (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818722.ch54
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Serological testing for parasitic infections available in commercial laboratories

Citation: Wilkins P, Nutman T. 2016. Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections, p 486-502. In Detrick B, Schmitz J, Hamilton R (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818722.ch54
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CAP challenges for proficiency testing for parasitic infections

Citation: Wilkins P, Nutman T. 2016. Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections, p 486-502. In Detrick B, Schmitz J, Hamilton R (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818722.ch54
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FDA-cleared tests for detection of parasite antigens

Citation: Wilkins P, Nutman T. 2016. Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections, p 486-502. In Detrick B, Schmitz J, Hamilton R (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818722.ch54
Generic image for table

Commercially available FDA-cleared kits for detection of parasite specific antibodies

Citation: Wilkins P, Nutman T. 2016. Immunological and Molecular Approaches for the Diagnosis of Parasitic Infections, p 486-502. In Detrick B, Schmitz J, Hamilton R (ed), Manual of Molecular and Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Eighth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818722.ch54

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