Simple questionnaire and urine reagent strips compared to microscopy for the diagnosis of Schistosoma haematobium in a community in northern Ghana
Objectives To evaluate the utility of a simple questionnaire and urine reagent strip testing for the rapid diagnosis of Schistosoma haematobium in rural northern Ghana.
Methods Cross‐sectional parasitological and questionnaire survey in a community in northern Ghana. Participants provided two urine specimens that were examined under a microscope using a centrifugation method. The first urine sample was additionally subjected to reagent strip testing. A short questionnaire was administered to all participants.
Results Microscopy of urine samples obtained from 208 individuals aged 1–77 years revealed an S. haematobium prevalence of 6.8%. The presence of any blood or protein on a urine reagent strip was 100% and 42% sensitive, and 93% and 80% specific for S. haematobium diagnosis. Questionnaires were completed by 198 individuals. Self‐reported haematuria showed a sensitivity of 53% and a specificity of 85%. A dichotomous two‐question panel was helpful in S. haematobium diagnosis, with working and playing near the river significantly associated with S. haematobium infection (P < 0.001).
Conclusion The use of urine reagent strips, coupled with questions pertaining to water contact patterns, might be considered for point‐of‐contact diagnosis of S. haematobium where microscopy is unavailable.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Division of Laboratory Medicine, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale, Ghana
Publication date: October 1, 2012