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Stool ova and parasites exam

Stool ova and parasites exam is a laboratory test to determine if a stool sample contains parasites or eggs (ova) that are associated with intestinal infections.

Alternative Names

Parasites and stool ova exam

How the test is performed

A stool sample is needed. There are many ways to collect the sample. You can catch the stool on plastic wrap that is loosely placed over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. Then, put the sample in a clean container.

One test kit supplies a special toilet tissue that you use to collect the sample. You then put the sample in a clean container.

To collect a sample from a child in diapers, line the diaper with plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap is positioned properly, you can keep the stool separate from urine, thus ensuring a better sample.

Return the sample to your health care provider's office or laboratory 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 health care provider may order this test if you have signs of parasites, diarrhea that does not go away, or other intestinal symptoms.

Normal Values

There are no parasites or eggs in the stool sample.

Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

An abnormal result means parasites or eggs are present in the stool. This is a sign of a parasitic infection. Such infections include:

What the risks are

There are no risks.

References

DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 291.

Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 142.

Giannella RA. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis and bacterial food poisoning. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010: chap 107.

Croft AC, Woods GL. Specimen collection and handling for diagnosis of infectious diseases. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 63.

Salwen MJ, Siddiqi HA, Gress FG, Bowne WB. Laboratory diagnosis of gastrointestinal and pancreatic disorders. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 22.

Fritsche TR, Selvarangan R. Medical parasitology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 62.

Updated: 4/26/2012

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.


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