The ongoing mass drug donations to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases could prove uninteresting for research purposes if a problem of reproducibility arises. In order to improve standardization of operational procedures, scientists from Jimma University in Ethiopia and Ghent University in Belgium have developed seven visual tutorials focusing on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
The first three tutorials provide detailed information on how to perform both traditional and newly developed methods to diagnose and quantify infections in stool, including Kato-Katz thick smear, McMaster egg counting method and Mini-FLOTAC:
The fourth tutorial gives guidance on how to organize the laboratory for assessing a large number of samples:
The fifth tutorial shows how to preserve stool samples for molecular analysis:
The sixth tutorial displays how to pool stool samples for a cost-effective assessment of infections:
The final tutorial illustrates how to assess anthelmintic drug efficacy against these neglected tropical diseases at a school:
For further information please contact bruno.levecke [at] ugent.be, zeleke.mekonnen [at] ugent.be or jozef.vercruysse [at] ugent.be
The developers of these tutorials would like to thank Jimma University for providing the research laboratories, the Flemish Interuniversity Council and The Research Foundation Flanders for their financial and technical support in developing these tutorials.