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Parasitology Specimen Collection Guide


Ova and parasite (O&P) exam

Preserved stool

Collect stool into clean dry container.
Do not contaminate with urine or water.
Transfer stool to fill lines of both the Formalin (pink top) and PVA (blue top) vials provided.

Do not refrigerate.

Room temperature (15-30°C) within 72hrs

Entamoeba histolytica/
E. dispar differentiation

Fresh stool

Collect stool into clean dry container with a screw-capped lid.
Do not contaminate stool with urine or water.

Transport to lab within 24 hours.

Refrigerated (2-8°C)

If transport will be delayed, stool should be frozen.

Pinworm Exam

Pinworm paddle

Collect early in morning before bathing or bowel movement.
Apply sticky side of paddle to the perianal area multiple times.
Return paddle to tube and snap lid closed.

Room temperature (15-30°C) within 72hrs

Helminth ID

Worm, tapeworm proglottid or scolex

Place worm into a clean container. Cover with saline or cold water.

Refrigerated (2-8°C) within 72hrs

Arthropod ID

Live arthropod

Place into a container with a screw-capped lid.
Include a piece of moistened paper towel.

Refrigerated (2-8°C) or room temperature (15-30°C)

Dead arthropod

Place into a container with a screw-capped lid.
Add a small amount of 70-95% alcohol..

Room temperature (15-30°C) within 72hrs

Skin scraping for mites (Scabies)

Place a drop of mineral oil on sterile scalpel blade.
Allow oil to flow onto the skin papule. Scrape vigorously several times to remove the top of the papule (there should be flecks of blood). Transfer oil and scraped material to glass slide and cover with a second slide.

Room temperature (15-30°C) within 72hrs

Malaria ID

Giemsa-stained Smears

Fingerstick blood is preferred over blood collected into EDTA.
Smears must be prepared within 1 hour of collecting blood.
Submit both thick and thin smears stained with Giemsa stain.

Room temperature (15-30°C) within 72hrs

Pneumocystis screen


Collect a minimum of 2-3 ml of induced sputum.
Bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial washings are also acceptable.

Transport to lab as soon as possible.

Refrigerated (2-8°C)