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Evaluation of a rapid dipstick test for identifying cholera cases during the outbreak.

Sinha, A; Sengupta, S; Ghosh, S; Basu, S; Sur, D; Kanungo, S; Mukhopadhyay, A K; Ramamurthy, T; Nagamani, K; Rao, M Narsing; Nandy, R K.
Indian J Med Res ; 135(4): 523-8, 2012 Apr.
Artigo Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22664501
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Intermittent cholera outbreaks are major problem in many of the states of India. It is essential to identify cholera at the earliest for timely mobilization of public health responses and to abort the outbreaks. The present study was a part of a diarrhoeal outbreak investigation in Secunderabad, India, during May 2009 where the usefulness of Crystal VC rapid dipstick kit was assessed for detecting the aetiologic agent of the outbreak. METHODS: Stool specimens were collected from 15 hospitalized patients with acute watery diarrhoea and analyzed for detection of cholera vibrios using Crystal VC rapid dipstick kit and the usefulness of the kit was determined by comparative analysis of the same set of specimens using both microbiological and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) based assays. RESULTS: Detection of Vibrio cholerae O1 from 10 of 15 specimens was recorded using dipstick assay. Microbiological methods detected V. cholerae O1 positivity among 11 specimens. However, RT-PCR based assay showed all 15 specimens positive for the presence of V. cholerae O1. In addition, the same assay showed that the pathogen load in the dipstick as well as RT-PCR positive specimens ranged from 10 6 colony forming units (cfu)/ml or more. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Crystal VC kit had the potential to identify cholera cases in 10 min in field conditions without having good laboratory support. Therefore, dipstick kit may be considered as cholera detecting tool in diarrhoeal outbreak investigations. Specimens from clinically typical cholera cases, if negative by dipstick, should be reanalyzed by culture based methods.