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Stool ova and parasites exam

  • Definition
    • Stool ova and parasites exam is a lab test to look for parasites or eggs (ova) in a stool sample. The parasites are associated with intestinal infections.

  • Alternative Names
    • Parasites and stool ova exam; Amebiasis - ova and parasites; Giardiasis - ova and parasites; Strongyloidiasis - ova and parasites Taeniasis - ova and parasites

  • How the Test is Performed
    • A stool sample is needed.

      There are many ways to collect the sample. You can collect the sample:

      • On plastic wrap. Place the wrap loosely over the toilet bowl so that it is held in place by the toilet seat. Put the sample in a clean container given to you by your health care provider.
      • In a test kit that supplies a special toilet tissue. Put it in a clean container given to you by your provider.

      Do not mix urine, water, or toilet tissue with the sample.

      For children wearing diapers:

      • Line the diaper with plastic wrap.
      • Position the plastic wrap so that it will prevent urine and stool from mixing. This will provide a better sample.

      Return the sample to your provider's office or lab as directed. At the lab, a small smear of stool is placed on a microscope slide and examined.

  • How the Test will Feel
    • The laboratory test does not involve you. There is no discomfort.

  • Why the Test is Performed
    • Your provider may order this test if you have signs of parasites, diarrhea that does not go away, or other intestinal symptoms.

  • Normal Results
    • There are no parasites or eggs in the stool sample.

      Talk to your provider about the meaning of your test results.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean
  • Risks
    • There are no risks.

  • References
    • Beavis, KG, Charnot-Katsikas, A. Specimen collection and handling for diagnosis of infectious diseases. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 64.

      DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25thed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 283.

      Haines CF, Sears CL. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 110.

      Hall GS, Woods GL. Medical bacteriology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 58.

      Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25thed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 140.

      Siddiqi HA, Salwen MJ, Shaikh MF. Laboratory diagnosis of gastrintestinal and pancreatic disorders. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 22.