Molecular diagnostics in the diagnosis of parasitic infection

Bobbi S. Pritt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Molecular testing is increasingly used to supplement or replace conventional microscopy-based methods of parasite identification. Potential benefits of molecular methods such as nucleic acid amplification tests include increased sensitivity, ability to differentiate morphologically similar organisms and lack of reliance on subjective microscopic features. However, several challenges exist for widespread implementation of molecular diagnostics, including the expense of reagents and equipment, need for sophisticated facilities and lack of commercial testing options. Most molecular parasitology tests are based on non-standardised laboratory-developed methods, although new commercial options including multiplex methods for gastrointestinal pathogens have recently become available. This review will focus on the use of molecular assays for common and important parasites including Plasmodium and Babesia species, trypanosomes, filaria, Leishmania species, free-living amoebae, Trichomonas vaginalis, Toxoplasma gondii and intestinal protozoa and helminths and how testing can be integrated into patient care algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent and Emerging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Microbial Infections, 2015
EditorsAndrew Sails, Yi-Wei Tang
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages50
ISBN (Print)9780128032978
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameMethods in Microbiology
ISSN (Print)0580-9517


  • Amoebiasis
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • Helminth
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • NAAT
  • PCR
  • Parasite
  • Protozoa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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