How qPCR complements the WHO roadmap (2021–2030) for soil-transmitted helminths

26 Jun 2021
Marina Papaiakovou, D. Timothy J. Littlewood, Robin B. Gasser, Roy M. Anderson

Sensitivity, specificity, and the potential for multiplexing are some of the traits that keep qPCR at the forefront of diagnostic tools to support the 2021–2030 World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap.

Reproducible qPCR practices, through in-built quality-assessment schemes and harmonised workflows, can underpin effective control in the absence of complementary copro-diagnostic methods.

The biological and clinical relevance of results from qPCR are yet to be agreed upon. 'Presence/absence' should be carefully evaluated in low-prevalence settings to confirm that presence equals infection.

qPCR can be tailored to complement surveillance and elimination strategies and support programme assessments and screening for resistance.

Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) biorepositories (stool and DNA) from different geographical locations are needed to validate any newly developed diagnostics and ensure uniformity in performance amongst laboratories.