Blood Parasite Exam

Abbrev Code:BLPARSITSTN   
Order Code:LAB3697Order Name:Blood Parasite Exam
Synonyms:Anaplasma; Babesia; Microfilaria; Trypanosomes; Plasmodium; Ehrlichia; Malaria
Methodology:Giemsa stain
CPT Codes: 87207 x1, 87015 x1
Test Includes:Microscopic exam of thick and thin peripheral blood smears.
Turnaround Time:Performed daily, 0730-1530. Results are reported within 24 hours of receipt. Contact the IDDL laboratory and medical director for testing at other times.
Special Instructions:Indicate clinical and travel history on request form if not available in electronic medical record.
  • Specify parasite suspected.
  • Provide patient's travel history.
  • Indicate whether the patient has been previously diagnosed, and if so, what parasites were identified and approximate date.
  • Provide a brief description of symptoms.
A rapid malaria screen will be performed on all STAT requests where malaria is suspected and upon physician request. Order Malaria Antigen Screen LAB3603.

For Microfilariae, know that periodicity of organism suspected will determine best collection time.
Organism Periodicity Suggested
Collection Time
Wuchereria bancrofti Nocturnal 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
2:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Wuchereria bancrofti 
(pacific region)
Diurnal 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Brugia malayi Nocturnal 9:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
Loa loa Diurnal 8:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Mansonella perstans None Day time
Mansonella ozzardi None Day time
Associated Links:

CDC Treatment Guidelines, Blood Films for Malaria

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:3 thick and 3 thin blood smears, AND 2 mL blood or 0.5 mL in a microtainer. (Do not fill with more than 0.5 mL).
Minimum\Peds Volume:3 thick and 3 thin blood smears, AND 1 mL blood or 0.3 mL in a microtainer. (Do not fill with more than 0.5 mL).
Container:Purple (EDTA), Microscope slides
Collection Instructions:Collect purple (EDTA) tube. Immediately mix 10 times by gentle inversion. Collect blood in syringe after all other tubes are collected and immediately make thick and thin smears at the bedside. Alternatively, thick and thin smears can be made directly from fingerstick.

Thin smears should have long feathered edges similar to those used to study cell morphology in Hematology. Thick films are dime-sized preparations several cell layers thick. See separate procedure "Blood Films for Malaria".

Blood smears made from EDTA tubes are inferior and only acceptable if there is no alternative. If EDTA is used, smears should be made within 2 hours of collection.

Label each slide and allow to dry flat before placing in slide holders and delivering to IDDL along with EDTA tube.

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Minimum of three thin and three thick blood smears and EDTA tube are required. Store slides at room temperature; EDTA refrigerated.
Shipping Instructions:Ship slides and EDTA at room temperature. Should arrive within 8 hours. If STAT, call special courier.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory   (UMMC East Bank)


Critical Range:Positive result
Reference Range:Negative

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