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Diagnostic Methods
Diagnostic methodsPros and cons
Parasitological diagnosis 

Ova can be found in sputum or faeces. Humans can be infected with several species (P. westermani, P. heterotremus, P. kellicotti, P. uterobilateralis and others).

WARNING: acid-fast staining for tuberculosis destroys the eggs and precludes diagnosis!

  • It is difficult for an inexperienced microscopist to distinguish eggs among different Paragonimus species and Diphyllobothrium latum
Molecular diagnosis 
PCR-RFLP or multiplex PCR allows the species differentiation of metacercariae or adult worms
  • Molecular diagnosis is of interest for epidemiological studies
Antigen detection 
No tests developed so far 
Antibody detection 
Home-made serological tests (mainly ELISAs using crude worm extracts or excretory/secretory antigens) have been developed which all have a problem with specificity. Tests with recombinant antigens have not yet been fully validated.
  • Serological tests not yet standardised