Intestinal parasites: Intestinal cestodes – tapeworms

Faecal Parasite diagnosis - UKAS accredited test

Faecal microscopy

A concentration technique is routinely performed on all faecal samples for the presence of cysts, ova and larvae. 
Sample requirement: Minimum of ¼ specimen pot of faecal sample. Ova, cysts and parasites may be passed intermittently therefore three samples may be required to be examined. Ova, cysts and parasites will diminish over time therefore it is more ideal for the sample to be less than 2 days old upon receipt at LSTM, however older stools will not be rejected.

Whole worms / proglottids

Identification of whole worms/proglottids

Sample requirements: Whole worms such as Ascaris may be stored in 10% formol saline. Suspected Taenia species proglottids are best stored in physiological saline and sent to the laboratory as soon as possible. The use of 10% formol saline should be avoided unless the sample cannot be sent to the reference laboratory within 3 days.

Key factors affecting tests: Identification may be difficult if formalin-fixed proglottids are sent for identification, however proglottids may disintegrate if in saline for 3 days or more.