[Microbiology] Re: worm count

John via microbio%40net.bio.net (by yjgent from verizon.net)
Tue Mar 1 20:07:09 EST 2011

On Feb 27, 12:03 am, "Joy Young" <joyyo... from netspace.net.au> wrote:
> I  live on  a farm and looking to buy a microscope to do worm count on my animals, I wondered if a student microscope would be satisfactory I am told that I require a magnification of 100 x 400.  I am not familiar with microscopes but would be pleased to learn.
> Joy Young

You've already gotten good advice about the microscope, but do you
know anything about doing a "worm count" on farm animals? First of
all, you are not looking for worms, they would be big enough you don't
need a scope. You will be looking for their eggs and while they are
prolific producers of eggs, they tend to be lost in all the other
stuff in stool. There are several processes to "clean up" the sample
to leave it clear enough to see the eggs.

My favorite method involves a pilsner glass, an wire egg beater and
4x4 gauze. Take a stool sample the size of about a walnut and mix it
in warm tap water using the wire whisk egg beater. Pour sample into
pilsner glass through at least 2 layers of gauze. Add more warm water
to fill glass.  Let sit for about 30 minutes. Carefully pour off
supernatant without disturbing the sediment. Refil the glass with warm
water and let sit for another 30 min. Repeat up to 4 times until
supernatant is somewhat clear. Now Pour off the supernatant and draw
up a small sample from the sediment place a drop on a slide and add a
cover slip and observe under 100x at first and then move up to 400x if
you see something suspicious.

This was a method I learned from my Microbiology supervisor back in
1975, and i don't think it is an accepted method for clinical
parasitology today. But it might work just fine for farm animals.

Now the last thing is do you know what the eggs will look like when
you do see them? You should get a book with photomicrographs and
drawings of worms and eggs you would expect to see in your animals.
Most of these parasitology books will also have methods of preparing
samples for microscopy work.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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