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Evaluation of ImmunoCard STAT test and ELISA versus light microscopy in diagnosis of giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis

Sadaka, H. A., Gaafar, M. R., Mady, R. F., Hezema, N. N.
Parasitology research 2015 v.114 no.8 pp. 2853-2863
Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, coproantigens, cryptosporidiosis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, feces, giardiasis, light microscopy, oocysts, ova, parasites, screening, staining
This study was designed to evaluate ImmunoCard STAT Cryptosporidium/Giardia rapid assay and ELISA copro-antigen assays in detecting Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium species in fecal samples in comparison to microscopy. Both ImmunoCard STAT and ELISA assays were evaluated with 90 stool specimens that were tested by the standard ova and parasite examination including staining with both iron hematoxylin stain and modified Ziehl Neelson stains. Counting the number of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidia oocysts in the positive stool samples was done in order to quantify the lower limit of parasite number that was able to be detected by all included assays. Both ImmunoCard STAT and ELISA assays were compared on the basis of the attributes which are number of detected cases, sensitivity, specificity, time required for the procedure and screening, ease of performance and interpretation, and cost. Microscopic examination revealed that 13.3 % of the samples were positive for Giardia and 2.2 % for Cryptosporidium. By ELISA, 16.7 % of the samples were infected with Giardia and 3.3 % with Cryptosporidium, while by ImmunoCard STAT, 17.8 and 4.45 % of the samples were positive for Giardia and Cryptosporidium, respectively. There is no statistically significant difference between the results of ELISA and ImmunoCard STAT assays. The lowest concentration detected in the stool samples was 10.50 ± 1.05 Giardia cysts and 2.83 ± 1.72 Cryptosporidium oocysts. The ImmunoCard STAT was extremely easy to read, thus requiring much less time, but its cost was much higher than ELISA. We concluded that although the overall ranking of both assays was high, the ImmunoCard STAT rapid assay was a more desirable test despite its higher cost.