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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Ova Cysts And Parasites
Test information
Indicate clearly which investigations are required. Give history of recent foreign travel.  If Enterobius vermicularis (threadworm is suspected) a moistened perianal swab in charcoal transport media is preferable.
All specimens should be transported and processed as  soon as possible although contact lenses, cases and fluids will withstand posting and a delay of several days. 
If prompt examination of stools cannot be carried out, the use of 10% formalin- water  preservative  is  necessary  to  prevent  deterioration  of  protozoan morphology, the  hatching of first-stage hookworm larvae, and overgrowth  of yeasts. 
Any materials used in taking these samples must be discarded in an approved clinical waste and/or sharps container. 
If a delay occurs in transporting the sample to the laboratory please refrigerate.
Special requirements
Tube type
Universal container with spoon (Blue top)
Faecal stools container
Minimum volume
Pea sized
TAT Inpatient (urgent)
2 days
TAT GP/Outpatient
2 days
Referral lab
Page last updated: 08 September 2021