This population study, which evaluated two parasitological methods for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni
, was performed in a low-transmission area in Pedra Preta, Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A total of 201 inhabitants of the rural area participated in this research. Four stool samples were obtained from all participants and analysed using the Kato-Katz method (18 slides) and a commercial test, the TF-Test®, which was performed quantitatively. The data were analysed to determine prevalence, the sensitivity of the diagnostic methods, the worm burden and the definition of the "gold standard", which was obtained by totalling the results of all samples examined using the Kato-Katz technique and the TF-Test®. The results showed that the prevalence obtained from the examination of one Kato-Katz slide (the methodology adopted by the Brazilian control programme) was 8% compared to 35.8% from the "gold standard", which was a 4.5-fold difference. This result indicates that the prevalence of schistosomiasis in so-called low-transmission areas is significantly underestimated.