Improving the sensitivity of gastrointestinal helminth detection using the Mini-FLOTAC technique in wild birds

Lobos-Ovalle, Dante; Navarrete, Claudio; Navedo, Juan G.; Pena-Espinoza, Miguel; Verdugo, Claudio


High-performance-validated tests are essential for successful epidemiological monitoring, surveillance of parasitic infections, and comparative studies in wildlife populations. The Mini-FLOTAC is a novel flotation-based technique for the sensitive detection and quantification of gastrointestinal parasites that is recently being explored for use in wildlife. A limitation of any flotation-based copromicroscopic method is the selection of the flotation solution (FS), which might influence the performance of the test. However, no study has compared the influence of using different FS in the Mini-FLOTAC technique for parasite detection in wild birds. Here, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of the Mini-FLOTAC in three waterbird host species using two widely used FS: saturated salt (NaCl; specific gravity 1.20) and saturated zinc sulfate (ZnSO4; specific gravity 1.35). One hundred fresh fecal samples were analyzed for parasite fecal egg counts (FEC). Regardless of the host species, fecal samples evaluated with the Mini-FLOTAC method using ZnSO4 resulted in a significantly higher detection rate and higher FEC of strongylid, capillarid, cestode, and trematode parasites, than samples analyzed with the NaCl solution. Our concise study demonstrated the importance of using an appropriate FS for the identification of parasite eggs in wildlife species, especially in hosts with an expected aggregated distribution and low parasite load such as waterbird hosts. The higher analytical sensitivity of the Mini-FLOTAC technique achieved with ZnSO4, and its applicability to fieldwork, highlights this method as a promising tool for the quantitative surveillance of parasite infections in wild bird populations.

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Título según WOS: Improving the sensitivity of gastrointestinal helminth detection using the Mini-FLOTAC technique in wild birds
Volumen: 120
Número: 9
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Página de inicio: 3319
Página final: 3324


Notas: ISI