Microscopy – relevant or redundant in diagnostic parasitology?

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Discussion

Over the last 130 years the diagnosis of infectious diseases has advanced exponentially since Robert Koch set down his criteria for diagnosis. Development of molecular based methods have given diagnostic laboratories the option of high throughput automation, syndromic diagnosis by microarray and whole genome sequencing. Whilst the disciplines of Bacteriology and Virology have embraced the new technology, Parasitology has lagged behind. Traditionally relying on macroscopic and microscopic identification of parasites in blood, faeces and other specimen types, is it now time to move on and retire our microscopes in favour of PCR, LAMP and point of care tests? I will present my view on the current role of microscopy in the diagnostic parasitology laboratory, including its role in the diagnosis of malaria in an non-endemic setting.

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British Society for Parasitology (BSP)
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