Thirty-Day Daily Comparisons of Kato-Katz and CCA Assays of 45 Egyptian Children in Areas with Very Low Prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni

Egyptian children

Forty-five Schistosoma mansoni egg–negative/circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) low (Trace-1+) positive children in areas of very low prevalence were followed up daily for 30 days. Stool and urine specimens were collected and examined each day from each child. At the midpoint of the study, three egg-positive control persons with light intensity infection were included in the protocol. Stool samples were examined by the Kato–Katz (four slides/stool sample) technique and all S. mansoni egg–negative stools were further tested by the “miracidia hatching test” (MHT). Urine samples were examined by the point-of-care CCA assay (POC-CCA). Over 30 days, only one of 1,338 consecutive stool samples from study subjects was S. mansoni egg and MHT positive (0.07%). Egg counts fluctuated daily in stools from positive controls and S. mansoni miracidia were detected in all but two samples by the MHT. Point-of-care–circulating cathodic antigen bands were scored from G1 to G10 and then translated to standard Trace, 1+, 2+, 3+ banding patterns. In two districts, the POC-CCA assays were Trace or 1+ for both the study children and the positive controls. In the third district, the POC-CCA assays were Trace or 1+ for the study children and 1+ or 2+ for the positive control. We conclude that in areas with extremely low prevalence S. mansoni egg–negative and CCA-Trace or 1+ children are unlikely to pose substantial risks to continued transmission of schistosomiasis. In this setting, POC-CCA Trace or 1+ readings are likely to be false positives or perhaps represent low-level single-sex schistosome infections.

Ayat A. Haggag, Amal Rabiee, Khaled M. Abd Elaziz, Carl H. Campbell Jr., Daniel G. Colley, and Reda M. R. Ramzy. 2019 The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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