Ova and Parasite Exam, Routine

Sunquest Code:POPR  
Epic Code:LAB6395Epic Name:Ova and Parasite Exam Routine
Synonyms:Fecal; Stool for Ova and Parasites; Feces; O & P; POPR
Methodology:Microscopic; includes trichome stain
Turnaround Time:Performed Mon-Fri; results are reported within 1-3 days.
Special Instructions:
  • It is strongly recommended that multiple specimens be submitted for ova and parasite analysis. At least 2-3 specimens should be collected, 1 each day.
  • To submit worms or worm segments, place in 70% alcohol or 10% formalin and order separate test MACPAR/LAB3602 Parasite Identification.
Associated Links:

IDDL Stool Collection Container Guidelines

Collection Instructions

Specimen:Feces in Ecofix
Optimal Volume:5-10 mL of liquid feces
Container:Ecofix Parapak
Collection Instructions:
  1. Place specimen into preservative within 1 hour of passage.
  2. Follow instructions on the container as follows:
  • Mix the contents of the tube with the spoon, twist the cap tightly closed, and shake vigorously until the contents are well mixed.
  • Do not fill above the line indicated on the container.
Causes for Rejection:Preservative other than Ecofix submitted. Specimens from inpatients after the third hospital day, without prior consultation.

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Store preserved stool at room temperature.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at room temperature.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory  (UMMC-East Bank)


Reference Range:Negative.
Limitations:If stool specimen is suspected of containing tapeworm segments or other adult worms, the suspected worm should be placed in 70% alcohol  or 10% formalin and submitted as test MACPAR/LAB3602 Parasite Identification. For optimal results, a specific request should be made for the detection of Cryptosporidium, microsporidium, Cyclospora or pinworm. If Cryptosporidiosis is suspected, CRYSP/LAB3412 Cryptosporidium stain should be ordered. This test is not appropriate for the detection of Acanthamoeba, filaria, malaria, trypanosomes, Toxoplasma or Trichomonas, since these organisms do not occur in the stool. Examination of a minimum of three specimens is required for the detection of greater than or equal to 90% of some protozoal infections, especially Giardiasis.
Use:Detection and identification of parasites: included are Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica (amoeba), Helminth eggs, protozoa, larval worms, and segments (proglottids) of tapeworms. Diarrhea, malnutrition, anemia and intestinal obstruction are some of the consequences of infection with intestinal parasites. Protozoa may cause diarrhea and/or malabsorption by elaborating toxins or by adhering to or invading the mucosa or by unknown mechanisms. Cryptosporidiosis occurs as a self-limited moderate diarrhea in young children, especially daycare attendees and their relatives. Helminths (worms) may obstruct the intestine, cause blood loss, or interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. Larvae or eggs may disseminate beyond the intestine and cause tissue destruction and provoke inflammation. Parasitic protozoa and Helminths of various types also may inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals without causing disease.

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