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Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Selection, Collection, and Submission of Samples

Parasitology Submission Guidelines

Fresh Feces

  • Fresh fecal samples are less than 48 hours old.
  • Samples should be placed in individual sealed containers labeled with the animal number/name and the date collected.
  • Acceptable containers include plastic containers with lids, WhirlPaks, and ziplock bags. Please do not send feces in rubber gloves or OB sleeves.
  • Refrigerate samples as soon as possible after collection, but do not freeze.
  • Submit samples as soon as possible in a Styrofoam container with frozen gel packs via any of the 24 to 48 hour transport services.
  • See individual test for sample size. Most tests require 5 grams of feces for accurate results.
  • For Baermann exams: fecal samples must be no more than 1-2 hours old and unrefrigerated. Larvae are fragile! These samples must be submitted to the lab before noon due to the test run time of 4 hours.

Whole Blood

  • 1 mL of whole blood submitted in a purple top tube (EDTA tube).

Serum

  • Serum samples need to be at least .5mL.

InPouch™ Test Kit

  • InPouch™ TF test kits contain a proprietary medium selective for transporting and culturing Tritrichomonas foetus.
  • Small quantities of these kits can be purchased through the diagnostic lab.
  • Large quantities of these kits can be purchased more economically from BioMed Diagnostics, 1388 Antelope Road, White City, OR 97503, 1-(800)-964-6466
  • Sampling methods for bovine and feline samples are described in the materials accompanying the InPouch™ test kits. Bovine Sample Collection Video
  • Send InPouchtm to the lab by the quickest means possible. DO NOT send the samples to reach the diagnostic lab on Saturday as no one will be in the parasitology lab to pick them up.
  • Tritrichomonas InPouch™ samples must remain between 15-37° C. DO NOT refrigerate InPouch™ kits.

Skin Scrapings/ Hair

  • If possible submit samples in a glass tube. Red top blood collecting tubes work well as specimen containers.
  • If necessary or if sample size is small, samples can be submitted on a glass slide if the cover slip is sealed with nail polish or VasPar.
  • Please do not use scotch tape as a cover slip as it obscures vital details of the sample.

Parasites

  • Ectoparasites can be transported in 70% alcohol in a sealed container. Red top blood collecting tubes work well.
  • Intestinal parasites need to be transported in water in a sealed container. Intestinal parasites received in formalin cannot be identified.
  • Please label container with host and location where the parasite was found.
  • Level of Parasite Identification is determined by lab personnel when the sample arrives in the laboratory to be identified.

Soil

  • Soil samples need to be at least 30 grams.
  • Collect soil from 2-3 inches below the surface from 3 places in the area to be tested.
  • Please send sample in a sealed plastic container or ziplock bag.

Direct Smear

  • Direct fecal smears are most useful for the diagnosis of protozoal parasites which have motiletrophozoite stages that are passed in the feces. Cysts and oocysts of coccidia and Giardia sp. can be seen on direct smears; however, these non-motile stages are more likely to be recovered when concentrated using a flotation technique.
  • In order to be diagnostic, direct smears MUST be performed using fresh feces.  Fresh feces means BODY TEMPERATURE (usually less than five or ten minutes old!).  As the specimen cools, trophozoites lose their motility and their diagnostic features become less recognizable.  In preparing the smear, use saline.  Water will rupture some trophozoites, rendering them unrecognizable.
  • Indications:  Motile protozoa trophozoites (feces must be body temperature).
  • Limitations:  Small sample size (sample size is so small that if you see nothing, it may not mean that the animal has no parasites; it just means there aren’t enough to show up in a direct smear).