FLOTAC, a novel apparatus for a multivalent faecal egg count technique.Parassitologia. 2006 Sep; 48(3):381-4.P
Faecal egg count (FEC) techniques are widely used for parasitological diagnosis in humans and animals. They are also used to measure the prevalence and intensity of infections for epidemiological surveys, to quantify the efficacy of chemotherapies, and to detect anthelmintic resistance. They assess the number of parasitic elements (eggs, larvae, oocysts) present in the faecal samples, expressed per gram of faeces, and are based on the microscopic examination of an aliquot of faecal suspension from a known volume of a faecal sample. In the present paper a novel multivalent FEC technique, the FLOTAC technique, is described. It is based on flotation in centrifuge and translation of the apical portion of the floating suspension, and gives eggs/larvae/oocyst counts in quantities of faeces up to 1 gram. A novel apparatus, the FLOTAC, has been developed and patented in order to carry out this technique. It is a cylindrical-shaped device, made of unbreakable plastic, and holds two sample flotation chambers, which are 5 ml each for a total volume of 10 ml, with two ruled grids (18 x 18 mm). Each grid contains 12 equidistant ruled lines that are transparent, and hence permit the counting of parasitic elements under them. The FLOTAC apparatus is also very useful in order to recover parasitic elements after flotation.