Journal Article

Survey of Clinical Laboratory Practices for Parasitic Diseases

Jeffrey L. Jones, Adriana Lopez, Susan P. Wahlquist, Joelle Nadle and Marianna Wilson

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue Supplement_3, pages S198-S202
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/381587
Survey of Clinical Laboratory Practices for Parasitic Diseases

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To gain knowledge about laboratory testing practices for parasitic diseases, in 2000 we surveyed 562 laboratories in 9 US states, and 455 (81%) responded. Most laboratories (59%) indicated that they send specimens off site for parasite screening, and most laboratories (89%) did not routinely test fecal specimens for Cryptosporidium species, Cyclospora cayetanensis, or microsporidia, unless testing for these organisms was specifically requested by a physician. Only 39 laboratories offered serological testing for Toxoplasma gondii, and most (78%) that had their results confirmed did so at national commercial laboratories rather than a Toxoplasma reference laboratory. Because most clinical laboratories do not routinely test fecal specimens for Cryptosporidium species, C. cayetanensis, or microsporidia, physicians must request specific testing for these organisms when they are clinically suspected; because of this lack of routine testing, it is difficult to estimate the true burden of disease due to these organisms.

Journal Article.  2696 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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