2015 Volume 43 Issue 4 Pages 205-209
For more effective diagnosis of the acute and chronic stages of Schistosoma mansoni infection in humans, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was compared with the Kato-Katz method. A total of 150 stool samples were collected from inpatient and outpatient clinics at the Department of Tropical Medicine, Minia University Hospital, Egypt. Three groups of patients, 50 with acute intestinal schistosomiasis, 70 with chronic intestinal schistosomiasis and 30 normal healthy controls were studied. Stool samples were analyzed by PCR and the Kato-Katz method. The mean number of eggs per gram of feces was 4.6 when estimated by the Kato-Katz method in positive stool samples from acute schistosomiasis cases but only 1.7 in chronic cases. In acute intestinal schistosomiasis, 15 and 45 out of 50 cases were positive by Kato-Katz and PCR, respectively. In the chronic intestinal schistosomiasis cases, 6 and 68 out of 70 cases were positive by the Kato-Katz and PCR methods, respectively. We conclude that PCR appears to be an effective diagnostic technique for S. mansoni infection, especially where a low worm burden exists, such as in chronic cases.