CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Lab Physicians 2022; 14(02): 125-131
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1732488
Original Article

A Comparative Analysis of Microscopy, Coproantigen Serology, and Nested Multiplex PCR in the Laboratory Diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica Infection

Sindhusuta Das
1   Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India
Nonika Rajkumari
1   Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India
Anitha Gunalan
1   Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India
Dhanalakshmi Rajavelu
1   Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India
Jeby Jose Olickal
2   Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India
› Author Affiliations


Objectives Amoebiasis is caused by the most common intestinal protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. This parasite causes amoebic colitis, which is manifested by diarrhea, followed by dysentery. The laboratory diagnosis of intestinal amoebiasis in most cases is by microscopic examination of stool samples. Other nonroutine methods include coproantigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) from stool samples, serum ELISA for antibodies, stool culture, isoenzyme analysis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The present study aimed to comparatively analyze the different diagnostic modalities used for the detection of E. histolytica from the stool sample of patients with intestinal amoebiasis.

Materials and Methods This study was undertaken with 631 patients, during a period of 3 years, from January 2017 to December 2019. Stool specimen obtained from each patient was subjected to direct microscopic wet mount examination, coproantigen ELISA, and nested multiplex PCR, respectively.

Results Out of all the patients tested, 5.2% were positive for E. histolytica. Among the positive cases, stool microscopy was positive in 3.17%, coproantigen ELISA was positive in 29 (4.6%) cases, and PCR was positive in 30 (4.75%) cases.

Statistical Analysis The prevalence of E. histolytica infection was summarized as percentages. The three diagnostic tests done were statistically analyzed, taking microscopy as the gold standard. The agreement between techniques (microscopy, coproantigen ELISA, and PCR) was analyzed with kappa statistics. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy were summarized as percentage with 95% confidence interval.

Conclusion In all suspected amoebiasis cases, a combination of stool microscopy, coproantigen testing with molecular detection of the parasite offers the best approach to diagnosis of this parasitic infection.

Publication History

Article published online:
29 July 2021

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