handwashing, soap and counting Ascaris helminth eggs on hands


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handwashing, soap and counting Ascaris helminth eggs on hands

Hello friends, I thought you might be interested to see this research published the other day in PloS:


The researchers spiked participants hands with Ascaris and compared handwashing after water with use of different detergents. It seems to suggest a slight improvement in removal of ascaris from hands with the detergent.

As we have discussed before, however, the study required a lab equipped with a centrifuge, therefore I'm not so sure about this conclusion:

The hand rinsing method developed in this study can be performed in a field setting, potentially outdoors, whereas the enumeration of helminth eggs must be performed in a simple laboratory equipped with a centrifuge and a microscope. Washing naturally contaminated hands in the field using grip seal bags secured with rubber bands around their wrists does not require much explanation or training. The bags can then be sealed, preferably kept cool depending on the target helminth egg, and transported to the laboratory. In the laboratory, disposable non-sterile plastic pipettes and Falcon tubes are needed without any organosilane coating. Overall the method is quick, and easy to perform in the field and in areas with low-technology laboratories, i.e. many developing countries where most ascariasis burden occurs.

If such a system can be simplified, I wonder if a test for effectiveness of a treatment might just be to test whether Ascaris is present on participant's (maybe local children's?) hands.
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