Background: Identification of specific and sensitive diagnostic technique for urinary schistosomiasis is still a questionable matter. The present study was carried out in 2 rural communities at Fayoum Governorate, Egypt, between May and December 2011, aiming to assess the performance of 3 diagnostic tests for Schistosoma haematobium infection and to identify the most important epidemiological risk factors for this infection.
Methods: Urine samples from 100 persons from both study areas were examined for urinary schistosomiasis after filling questionnaire interviews. The applied techniques were direct microscopy, detection of microhematuria using reagent strip tests, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of DraI-121 base-pair tandem repeat sequence from urine samples.
Results: The infection rates were 4%, 13%, and 12% using the 3 tests, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction technique proved the significant underestimated prevalence rates of the disease using microscopy. The results also indicated the potential usefulness of urine PCR technique as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for urinary schistosomiasis that may serve as a criterion standard in determining the accurate prevalence of the disease. Prevalence of safe water supply is the most significant protective factor from the disease, whereas previous history of dysuria and/or hematuria is the most significant risk factor for this disease.
Conclusions: Polymerase chain reaction amplification is a promising test for diagnosing S. haematobium. Strip test is a good alternative in poor areas where PCR is not available. The disease and its risk factors are prevalent in the examined localities that need efforts from local health authorities.