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Comparison of sensitivity and specificity of trichrome staining to in vitro cultivation for the detection of Blastocystis hominis

Thirayost Nimmanon, Nopapon Ittharat, Patcharapong Pan-u-rai, Komrat Wiputtikul, Prapakorn Kongubon, Pakapol Mongkoldith, Puripatra Puripanpinyo, Ronnarith Singpru, Lattapon Malaitong, Wongsan Siricherakaesorn, Udomsit Areevijit, Kiat Dheewuttita

Fifth year medical cadet, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, 315 Ratchawithi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand


Background : Currently, the detection of human infection with B. hominis is usually based on simple smear and trichrome staining examination under a light microscope of faecal samples. Recently it has been shown that in vitro cultivation is a sensitive method to identify B. hominis. However, there is no comparison of these 2 methods in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Purpose : To compare trichrome staining and in vitro cultivation for the detection of B. hominis. Design : Diagnostic Study Materials and Methods : Study in 337 conscripts of 2nd Infantry Regiment, Queen’s Guard, Prachinburi province who consented to participate this research during 16th–20th February 2003. Each collected fresh stool specimens were checked for the parasite using three methods including simple smear, trichrome staining and cultivation in Jone’s medium. Results : 102 of the samples were found to be B. hominis positive by in vitro cultivation. The sensitivity and specitivity of trichrome staining are 40.2% and 80.4% compared to that of in vitro cultivation. Conclusion : From the study, we found that the sensitivity of trichrome staining was rather low but the specificity was high. Thus, culture would be particularly beneficial when the subject is excreting small numbers of B. hominis and/or when a microscopist checking stained specimen is uncertain if it is positive or negative for B. hominis.

Key Word : Blastocystis hominis, Trichrome staining, In vitro cultivation


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