Posted: July 22, 2020

New study led by STH Advisory Committee members with contributions from CWW on STH Diagnostics

new paper1 published in PLOS NTDs demonstrates the feasibility and challenges of an international external quality assessment scheme (EQAS) to test and ensure the quality of molecular diagnostic testing for parasitic worms such as soil-transmitted intestinal worms.

Facilitated by Children Without Worms (CWW), the study piloted an international EQAS for the diagnosis of parasitic worms involving 15 laboratories in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Findings showed that while most laboratories performed well, some laboratories may need to improve their test protocol.

Commenting on the findings, Rubina Imtiaz, CWW Director, said, “this timely publication highlights the development of  molecular testing methodology (qPCR) for STH and additional parasites. It also draws attention to the need for standardizing testing approaches across laboratories around the world so that test results are comparable. Findings from this study serve as an important first step in that direction.”

As a regular contributor to STH policy  and a leader in innovation, CWW continues to advocate for investments in STH diagnostics and works with key stakeholders such as the World Health Organization and the STH Advisory Committee and others to promote a “use-case focused” collaboration on NTD diagnostics.


1Cools P, van Lieshout L, Koelewijn R, Addiss D, Ajjampur SSR, et al. (2020) First international external quality assessment scheme of nucleic acid amplification tests for the detection of Schistosoma and soil-transmitted helminths, including Strongyloides: A pilot study. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 14(6): e0008231.