Module 2: Introduction to Common Fecal Diagnostic Procedures

Module 2.4: Is This a Parasite Egg?

Did I find a parasite egg?

You have finally made it to the finish line, your condenser on your microscope is down and you focus on…something…but what is it? It is your job now to determine if this is a pathogenic parasite, spurious parasite, or simply a pseudoparasite.

Parasite egg and pseudoparasite resources:

There are many resources available to you here is a list of a few:

  1. Your parasite manual (See link in Module 2 assignment)
  2. CAPCvet parasite egg identifier phone app (free): Apple Store & Google Play
  3. CAPCvet website
  4.  Clinician’s Brief: Differentiation of Parasites and Pseudoparasites (See link in Module 2 Assignment)
  5.  Averback’s Spores and Pollen Illustrations (Link available in “General Resources” tab and in the Module 2 Assignment)

Key Takeaways

  • Fecal flotation is the main method for intestinal parasite screening
  • We have other fecal tests to look for specific parasite ova, trophozoites, or larvae
  • Fresh feces should always be used to perform these tests when possible
  • Just because you find an egg, oocyst, larvae, etc. on a fecal examination, does not mean that it is pathogenic or the cause of disease in your patient
  • Pollon is one of the most commonly misidentified structures as parasite ova
You have now reached the end of Module 2. If you are enrolled in CVM 6925, please go to the Canvas page and take the quiz: “Module 2: Intro to fecal quiz.” There is an assignment associated with this module and the laboratory session.


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Clinical Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Copyright © 2021 by Erin Burton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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