Diagnosis of parasitic infections: what's going on?

J Biomol Screen. 2015 Jan;20(1):6-21. doi: 10.1177/1087057114548065. Epub 2014 Aug 28.


Methods for the diagnosis of parasitic infections have stagnated in the past three decades. Labor-intensive methods such as microscopy still remain the mainstay of several diagnostic laboratories. There is a need for more rapid tests that do not sacrifice sensitivity and that can be used in both clinical settings as well as in poor resource field settings. The fields of diagnostic medical parasitology, treatment, and vaccines are undergoing dramatic change. In recent years, there has been tremendous effort to focus research on the development of newer diagnostic methods focusing on serological, molecular, and proteomic approaches. This article examines the various diagnostic tools that are being used in clinical laboratories, optimized in reference laboratories, and employed in mass screening programs.

Keywords: biomarkers; diagnostics; immunoassays; microscopy; multiplex assays and technology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Molecular Typing / methods
  • Parasitic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Parasitic Diseases / parasitology
  • Serotyping / methods