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diagnostic kits for Giardia

colin semple colin_semple at mindlink.bc.ca
Mon Nov 13 22:31:54 EST 1995

Here is the abstract of a paper just in the final stages:

During a seven month period 16,888 sodium acetate-acetic
acid-formalin (SAF) fixed stool specimens were examined for
the presence of parasites.  Two examinations: a Kinyoun/iron
hematoxylin stained smear and a formalin ethyl acetate
concentration were routinely done.  Giardia lamblia was
detected in 617 specimens.  Of these, low numbers of Giardia
cysts (less than three cysts in both the concentrate and
stained smear) were seen in 70 specimens.  These seventy
specimens were used to challenge the sensitivity of five
commercial Giardia detection kits. Two direct fluorescent
antibody kits were tested:  MerIFluor CG (Meridian
Diagnostics Inc.) detected 59/70 and Giardia-Cel (Cellabs
Diagnostics) detected 57/70 for a sensitivity of 84% and 81%
respectively.  Three Enzyme Immunoassay kits were tested: 
ProSpect (Alexon Inc.) detected 18/70, Color Vue-Giardia
(Seradyn) detected 48/70 and Giardia-Celisa (Cellabs
Diagnostics) detected 57/70 for respective sensitivities of
26%, 69%, and 81%.
An additional 28 conventional microscopy negative specimens
from Giardia-infected patients were tested by the same kits
with sensitivity ranging from 15% to 85%.  
Contrary to some papers, this study suggests that in
specimens with small numbers of Giardia cysts, commercially
produced kits may not be any more sensitive than
conventional microscopic examination of multiple specimens
by experienced staff.

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