Rapid diagnosis of cholera by coagglutination test using 4-h fecal enrichment cultures

Author(s): Rahman M, Sack DA, Mahmood S, Hossain A


A simple, rapid, and reliable method to detect Vibrio cholerae in fecal specimens would assist in the management of cases of severe diarrhea, especially since most such cases occur in areas with minimal laboratory facilities. A coagglutination test was used to detect V. cholerae antigen in bile-peptone broth incubated with feces. In the technique, Staphylococcus aureus Cowan 1 coated with anti-V. cholerae O1 antiserum was tested with cultures incubated for 4 h. When 165 specimens were tested, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the test, compared with standard culture methods, were 97, 99, and 98%, respectively. These promising results were better than those of dark-field microscopy using the same specimens, and the test was logistically easy to perform. The coagglutination test using enrichment broth culture of feces is a simple and rapid method which may be used to confirm a diagnosis of cholera.

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