Original Article

Agar Plate Culture: An Alternative Sensitive Routine Laboratory Detec-tion Method for Strongyloides stercoralis and Hookworm Parasites


Background: Human infection with Strongyloides stercoralis and hookworm parasites is usually under reported due to less sensitive diagnostic methods. Agar plate culture (APC) is the most sensitive technique for parasites having larval stage. However, using APC in routine diagnosis is uncommon. This study aimed to determine the detection rate and sensitivity of APC in comparison with formal ether concentration technique (FECT) and spontaneous tube sedimentation techniques (STSTs) for S. stercoralis and hookworm larvae.

Methods: Stool samples collected from 844 schoolchildren in Amhara Regional State, northwestern Ethiopia in 2019, transported to nearby health institutions and processed by APC, FECT and STSTs. The prevalence of S. stercoralis and hookworm was computed by descriptive statistics and Chi-square. The diagnostic agreement among the three techniques was evaluated using Kappa value.

Results: The overall prevalence of S. stercoralis and hookworm infections by combining the three methods was 13.2% (111/844) and 33.8% (277/844), respectively. Using APC alone, the prevalence of S. stercoralis and hookworm were found to be 10.9% (92/844) and 24.5% (207/844), respectively. Agar plate culture was 5.4 and 2.7 times respectively more sensitive than FECT and STST, with slight and fair agreement in the detection of S. stercoralis. Hookworm diagnostic agreement was moderate between APC and FECT, and APC and STST. The Kappa value between STST and FECT diagnostic methods was substantial.

Conclusion: APC has a better detection rate of S stercoralis and hookworm larvae. Therefore, APC can be used as an alternative routine diagnostic method to S. stercoralis and hookworm co-endemic countries.

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IssueVol 16 No 1 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v16i1.5514
Strongyloides stercoralis Hookworm Agar plate culture Detection rate

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HAILU T, NIBRET E, AMOR A, MUNSHEA A, ANEGAGRIE M. Agar Plate Culture: An Alternative Sensitive Routine Laboratory Detec-tion Method for Strongyloides stercoralis and Hookworm Parasites. Iran J Parasitol. 2021;16(1):72-82.