Comparison of direct immunofluorescence, modified acid-fast staining, and enzyme immunoassay techniques for detection of Cryptosporidium spp in naturally exposed kittens

Stanley L Marks, Timothy E. Hanson, Ann C. Melli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To evaluate a modified Ziehl-Neelsen acid-fast staining technique (mZN), a direct immunofluorescence detection procedure (DIF), and 3 commercial enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in fecal specimens from kittens. Design - Prospective study. Sample Population - 416 fecal specimens collected from 104 randomly selected domestic shorthair kittens (8 to 16 weeks of age) that were naturally exposed to Cryptosporidium spp. Procedure - Fresh fecal specimens were collected once daily for 4 consecutive days and processed immediately. Sensitivities of mZN, DIF, and 3 commercial EIAs (EIA-1, EIA-2, and EIA-3) were estimated and compared. Results - EIA-2 had the highest sensitivity on day 1 (89%), followed by EIA-1 (80%), and mZN (72%). EIA-3 had the lowest sensitivity on day 1 (15%). EIA-2, EIA-1, and mZN had similar sensitivities after 2 consecutive fecal examinations (approx 90%). Determination of specificities was compromised by the small number of cats that had negative results for all tests (n = 3). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Results suggest that EIA-2 and EIA-1 had the highest sensitivities when only a single fecal specimen was examined; however, mZN and EIA-1 had similar sensitivities when 2 consecutive fecal specimens were examined. The higher costs of EIA-2 and EIA-1 may be offset by the tests' high sensitivity, simplicity of use, and ease of interpretation and by savings, in technician time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1553
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume225
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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