Mobile Site ›

Detection of Intestinal Parasites


Receive notification when new Hot Topics are published:

Detection of Intestinal Parasites

Slide 3

March 2009

The traditional method for identification of parasites in feces is the Ova and Parasite examination, otherwise known as the OAP or O&P. The test code is listed above for your reference.

The ova and parasite exam consists of multiple components, including a direct unconcentrated preparation of fresh feces when available, as well as a concentrated fecal preparation of treated feces. The concentrated fecal preparation is used to make 2 separate types of slides which are examined under the microscope:

    1. a wet preparation (which is examined using saline and sometimes iodine for added contrast)
    2. and a permanent preparation that is stained with a modified trichrome stain or similar method

It is important to understand that The O&P is a subjective microscopic examination, performed by highly trained and experienced technologists. It is appropriate for identifying many parasites, such as worms that are endemic in many parts of the world. But it is a much less sensitive method for detecting some of the more common intestinal parasitic pathogens that are seen in the United States. For these more common parasites, I will discuss which tests are recommended as the first step in detection.

Detection of Intestinal Parasites


Jump to section: