Despite recent advances in diagnostic technology, microscopic examination of stool specimens remains central to the diagnosis of most pathogenic intestinal protozoa. Microscopy is, however, labor-intensive and requires a skilled technologist. New, highly sensitive diagnostic methods have been developed for protozoa endemic to developed countries, including Giardia lamblia (syn. G. intestinalis/G. duodenalis) and Cryptosporidium spp., using technologies that, if expanded, could effectively complement or even replace microscopic approaches. To date, the scope of such novel technologies is limited and may not include common protozoa such as Dientamoeba fragilis, Entamoeba histolytica, or Cyclospora cayetanensis. This minireview describes canonical approaches for the detection of pathogenic intestinal protozoa, while highlighting recent developments and FDA-approved tools for clinical diagnosis of common intestinal protozoa.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)