PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Maximizing the recovery of PCR-amplifiable DNA is an important consideration in the optimization of field-ready PCR-based diagnostic techniques. Fecal specimen preservation is particularly important due to the universal use of stool for the non-invasive diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. A comprehensive and systematic assessment of methods for maintaining and preserving soil-transmitted helminth (STH) DNA, particularly from fragile eggs subjected to nuclease exposure in stool, has not been conducted previously. Through the comparative analysis of a variety of preservation techniques, the present study demonstrates that fecal samples designated for PCR-based molecular analysis maintain sample integrity for at least 60 days when stored at 4 ̊C. While the expedited establishment of a cold chain for stool sample storage remains the best-practice procedure for downstream molecular analysis, a variety of preservatives can facilitate the extended preservation of sample quality, even under unfavorable temperatures. Factors such as preservative cost, inhibitor resistance, toxicity, availability, associated labor, sample shipping requirements and study purpose should also be considered when determining an appropriate method for fecal specimen preservation. Taking all of these factors into consideration, the use of 95% ethanol as a preservative is recommended in most situations.
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© 2018 Papaiakovou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Papaiakovou, Marina; Pilotte, Nils; Baumer, Benjamin; Grant, Jessica; Asbjornsdottir, Kristjana; Schaer, Fabien; Hu, Yan; Aroian, Raffi; Walson, Judd; and Williams, Steven A., "A Comparative Analysis of Preservation Techniques for the Optimal Molecular Detection of Hookworm DNA in a Human Fecal Specimen" (2018). Biological Sciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.