DNA detection

Bettina Lundgren and Mats Olsson

The current laboratory diagnosis for many parasites is microscopical detection of the organism or specific antigenic epitopes (by immunofluorescence, IFL). Increased sensitivity is obtained with DNA amplification by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), targetted to specific gene fragments of parasites. The diagnostic and clinical significance of the method, in relation to different sample material, is evaluated for the following parasite organisms/diseases: Pneumocystis carinii, Trichomonas vaginalis, Giardia lamblia, Microsporidia spp., Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica and dispar, and Plasmodium spp. causing human malaria-infection.

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