General conclusions

In conclusion, PCR for diagnosing parasitic infections is a promising approach, although its current role in routine diagnosis for most pathogens remains undefined. With our current knowledge, routine use of PCR only seems reasonable in the primary detection of T. gondii, P. carinii, differentiation of pathogenic/nonpathogenic. Entamoeba species and detection of drug-resistant Plasmodium spp. Easy sample extraction methods, reproducible results and the use of internal controls to validate the PCR result are needed.

Each clinical laboratory have to evaluate their needs, counting the number of specimens to be tested, the duration of time of conventional detection methods, sensitivity and specificity has to be critically evaluated and compared to the expensive PCR technique, before deciding to set up diagnostic PCR assays. Furthermore, PCR diagnosis of infrequent present parasites probably should be centralized and performed in national reference laboratories.

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