What avenues are available to me to have digital microscopy images analyzed?

Dilworth bactitech at hortonsbay.com
Sat Jun 16 04:57:51 EST 2001


Wilf, do yourself a favor, go to a doctor and get a lab to do an ova &
parasite examination.  I went through this picture thing with someone
this spring, and it's a nightmare.  Your pictures don't look like
anything I've ever seen, and I've been doing O&P's for 26 years now. 
All CAP accredited laboratories have to do check samples for these exams
which include exotic parasites from around the world, and if the labs
don't pass the proficiencies, they cannot perform the testing!  Give us
some credit.  The docs may kiss it off, but the techs know when they see
a parasite.

If you don't get anywhere with a family doc, go to an infectious disease
specialist (for parasites).  That's what they deal with.  A
gastroenterologist would be the choice for non-parasitological problems
with your GI tract.

Without measurements (using a micrometer) no one can really help you out
much, as we base our ID's on measurements.  

Persistence can pay off, though, as my spring-time correspondent did end
up presenting with a parasite.  He took some purgatives from a Chinese
pharmacist (herbal) and they let go, apparently (pretty gross). It was a
type of parasite that didn't produce eggs, so nothing was showing up in
the O&P exams.  He had been traveling world-wide so there was a
suspicion there.  If you haven't traveled outside the U.S. or eaten raw
fish, the list of parasites shortens quite a bit.  Giardia lamblia,
acquired from bad water, is the most common parasite found in the U.S. 
Ascaris, Strongyloides, etc. can be found also, but not nearly as often
as Giardia.

Check out some parasite web sites:

http://www.cdfound.to.it/html/atlas.htm#atlas
http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~parasite/home.html
http://www.aan18.dial.pipex.com/urls.htm
http://www.cellsalive.com/parasit.htm

These should keep you busy.

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
Microbiology

Wilf Russell wrote:
> 
> > I have some digital images taken via a microscope of a stool sample
> > that appears to contain some parasite eggs.  
> >
> > I realize that the canonical answer would be to visit a doctor, get a
> > stool sample, and send it to a lab for diagnosis but that option is
> > currently not available to me. 
>




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