Detection of ova, cysts and parasites from clinical samples other than blood.
Although faecal specimens are the most commonly received samples for the detection of parasites, parasites may also be detected in a variety of other clinical specimens submitted to the laboratory.
Should be presumably collected before antimicrobial or anti-diarrhoeal therapy where possible and between 10.00pm and midnight, or early in the morning, before defecation or bathing. Faeces may be passed directly to a sterile wide-mouthed CE marked leak proof container or may be passed to a clean, dry bedpan or similar container and transferred to a CE marked leak proof container. Fresh, unpreserved specimens should be transported immediately. Cysts will not form once the specimen has been passed.
Apply clear Sellotape to the perianal region, pressing the adhesive side of the tape firmly against the left and right perianal folds several times; the tape can be wrapped around a tongue depressor to aid in specimen collection. Smooth the tape back on the slide, adhesive side down.
Perianal specimens are best obtained in the morning before bathing or defecation. Three specimens should be taken on consecutive days before pinworm infection is rules out. Cotton-wool swab in dry container should be used for collection. Spread buttocks apart and rub the moistened cotton wool swab over the area around the anus, but do not insert into the anus. Place cotton wool swab back in its container (no transport medium required). Occasionally, an adult worm may be collected from a patient and sent in saline or water for identification.
Urine (for S. haematobium)
In urinary schistosomiasis, very few ova are present in the urine. The number of ova in the urine varies throughout the day, being highest in urine obtained between 10.00am and 2.00pm. In patients with haematuria, eggs may be found trapped in the blood and mucus in the terminal portion of the urine specimen. It is therefore preferable to obtain total urine collected over the time period between 10.00am and 2.00pm. Alternatively, a 24hr collection of terminal samples of urine may be helpful. Sterile containers without boric acid must be used.
- Faeces: white top sterile container
- S. haematobium urine: white top sterile container
- E. vermicularis ova Sellotape slide or swab: Sellotape slide in a slide case/cotton swab inside a white top sterile container
Limitations and restrictions
Please see patient preparation for optimal sample collection.
Microbiology Lab, James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, TS4 3BW
For any other sample type than those listed, please contact the microbiology department for advice prior to obtaining the sample.
Please provide relevant clinical information surrounding requirement for the parasite investigation. It is important to include sufficient clinical details and travel history the with submitted sample. This will not only aid in diagnosis of parasites but will also protect the laboratory staff if a hazardous pathogen is suspected or indicated from the clinical information supplied.
For specimens went with a clinical history of delusional parasitosis, only the sample types listed will be accepted. All other sample types will be rejected.