Test Catalog

Interpretive Handbook

Test 9202 :
Parasite Identification

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Infectious diseases are spread and caused by a variety of macroscopic vectors. A wide array of macroscopic parasites (worms and ectoparasites) and parasite mimics or artifacts may be submitted for examination and identification. It is important to promptly and accurately identify these specimens so that the ordering physician can appropriately treat and counsel the patient.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Gross identification of parasites (eg, worms) and arthropods (eg, ticks, bed bugs, lice, mites)


Detecting or eliminating the suspicion of parasitic infection by identifying suspect material passed in stool or found on the body


Diagnosing delusional parasitosis


Identifying ticks, including Ixodes (carrier of Lyme disease)

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A descriptive report is provided identifying the worm or arthropod. Worms and hard ticks are identified to the species level when possible, while other parasitic arthropods are identified to the genus level. Arthropods that do not cause human disease and parasite mimics resembling worms are reported as nonhuman parasites.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This test identifies a tick's species, age, sex, and level of engorgement. It does not include analysis of ticks for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. Testing ticks for potential pathogens such as B burgdorferi, is not recommended since it does not indicate that the organism had been passed to the host during feeding.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

A descriptive report is provided.

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Mathison BA, Pritt BS: Laboratory Identification of Arthropod Ectoparasites. Clin Microbiol Rev 2014;27(1):48-67

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