Stool ova and parasites exam

Alternative names
Parasites and stool ova exam

Definition
Stool ova and parasites exam is a test for the presence of a parasite or worm-like infection of the intestine from stool analysis. Ova refers to the egg stage of a parasite’s life cycle. Some parasites are single-cell organisms such as amoeba, Giardia, and trichomonas, while others have a worm-like appearance.

How the test is performed
Adults and children:
There are many ways to collect the samples. You can catch the stool on plastic wrap that is loosely placed over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. Then, put the sample in a clean container. One test kit supplies a special toilet tissue that you use to collect the sample, then put the sample in a clean container.

Infants and young children:
For children wearing diapers, line the diaper with plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap is positioned properly, isolating the stool from any urine output, mixing of urine and stool can be prevented for a better sample.

A small smear of stool is placed on a microscope slide and examined.

How to prepare for the test
You will be given a specimen container for the stool sample. Do not mix urine or toilet tissue in with the stool specimen.

How the test will feel
There is no discomfort.

Why the test is performed
The test is performed if a parasitic infestation is suspected, for prolonged diarrhea of unknown cause, or other intestinal symptoms.

Normal Values

The presence of normal bacteria and other microorganism in the stool is normal.

What abnormal results mean

Parasites or eggs are present in the stool indicating parasitic infestation.
See also:

What the risks are

There are no risks.

Special considerations

Not applicable.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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