Elswaifi, Shaadi F; Palmieri, James R; El-Tantawy, Nora; El-Hussiny, Mona; Besheer, Tarek; Abohashem, Ekbal
Protozoal diseases are prevalent globally and especially in developing countries that have relatively lower socioeconomic populations such as Egypt. Direct microscopic examination (DME) is used for the detection and identification of protozoa but lacks sufficient reliability, and thus may be detrimental in obtaining accurate diagnostic or epidemiological data. In this study, we determine the prevalence of infections by Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium sp., and Entamoeba histolytica in humans in Egypt. Furthermore, we determine the reliability of DME in determining infections caused by these protozoa and compare the results to enzyme linked Immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Our results indicate that the prevalence of giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and entamoebiasis is 38, 22, and 16 %, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of DME for detection of G. intestinalis is 45 and 99 %, for Cryptosporidium 66 and 99 %, and for Entamoeba 45 and 100 %, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that ELISA is more reliable for diagnostic and epidemiologic study purposes.