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Stool ova and parasites exam

Stool ova and parasites exam is a lab test to look for parasites or eggs (ova) in a stool sample. The parasites are associated with intestinal infections.

How the Test is Performed

A stool sample is needed.

There are many ways to collect the sample. You can collect the sample:

  • On plastic wrap. Place the wrap loosely over the toilet bowl so that it is held in place by the toilet seat. Put the sample in a clean container given to you by your health care provider.
  • In a test kit that supplies a special toilet tissue. Put it in a clean container given to you by your provider.

Do not mix urine, water, or toilet tissue with the sample.

For children wearing diapers:

  • Line the diaper with plastic wrap.
  • Position the plastic wrap so that it will prevent urine and stool from mixing. This will provide a better sample.

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

Normal Results

There are no parasites or eggs in the stool sample.

Talk to your provider about the meaning of your 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 as:

Risks

There are no risks.

Alternative Names

Parasites and stool ova exam; Amebiasis - ova and parasites; Giardiasis - ova and parasites; Strongyloidiasis - ova and parasites Taeniasis - ova and parasites

References

Beavis, KG, Charnot-Katsikas, A. Specimen collection and handling for diagnosis of infectious diseases. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 64.

DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25thed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 283.

Haines CF, Sears CL. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 110.

Hall GS, Woods GL. Medical bacteriology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 58.

Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25thed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 140.

Siddiqi HA, Salwen MJ, Shaikh MF. Laboratory diagnosis of gastrintestinal and pancreatic disorders. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 22.

Review Date 5/11/2016

Updated by: Subodh K. Lal, MD, gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Austell, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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