Multiplex real-time PCR monitoring of intestinal helminths in humans reveals widespread polyparasitism in Northern Samar, the Philippines

Catherine A Gordon, Donald P McManus, Luz P Acosta, Remigio M Olveda, Gail M Williams, Allen G Ross, Darren J Gray, Geoffrey N Gobert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


The global socioeconomic importance of helminth parasitic disease is underpinned by the considerable clinical impact on millions of people. While helminth polyparasitism is considered common in the Philippines, little has been done to survey its extent in endemic communities. High morphological similarity of eggs between related species complicates conventional microscopic diagnostic methods which are known to lack sensitivity, particularly in low intensity infections. Multiplex quantitative PCR diagnostic methods can provide rapid, simultaneous identification of multiple helminth species from a single stool sample. We describe a multiplex assay for the differentiation of Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator americanus, Ancylostoma, Taenia saginata and Taenia solium, building on our previously published findings for Schistosoma japonicum. Of 545 human faecal samples examined, 46.6% were positive for at least three different parasite species. High prevalences of S. japonicum (90.64%), A. lumbricoides (58.17%), T. saginata (42.57%) and A. duodenale (48.07%) were recorded. Neither T. solium nor N. americanus were found to be present. The utility of molecular diagnostic methods for monitoring helminth parasite prevalence provides new information on the extent of polyparasitism in the Philippines municipality of Palapag. These methods and findings have potential global implications for the monitoring of neglected tropical diseases and control measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number7
Early online date06 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Helminthiasis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Philippines
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Young Adult

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