Ova Parasite Stool (Poop) Test
Parasite stool tests can reliably and accurately find intestinal parasite infections by looking for parasites, or parasite eggs (called ova).
Out of all the parasite tests available, the parasite poop test is the most useful, accurate and convenient.
Almost all parasite infections by patients in the 1st world are detectable in stool. So this test should be first in the parasite infection diagnosis tool kit.
What types of parasites can be detected by the ova stool test?
Parasites range in size from 6 feet long, down to a few inches, down to those only visible by a microscope.
So even though most people think of parasites as just "worms" - they are actually many species of microscopic parasites that are only detectable though a microscope...and in my opinion, it's the microscopic ones that cause the most severe health problems.
Here's the full list of parasite that could be detected by a stool test:
- Entamoeba Histolytica
- Giardia lambilia
- Blastocystis hominis
- Helminths (worms)
- Ascaris lumbricoides
- Human whipworm
- Chinese liver fluke
- Human liver fluke
- blood fluke
- pork tapeworm
- fish tapeworm
BUT - keep in mind as you shop for your home parasite ova stool test kit...most tests will only look for the 3-5 most common parasites in your region.
Parasites today travel outside their natural borders. In 2018 people are eating sushi caught by Chinese fisherman - on a plate with veggies grown in mexico - prepared by immigrants who may have grown up in unsanitary, parasite infested living conditions. My father is an immigrant so I know how unsanitary it can be in 3rd world countries.
With global trade we really need to test for global parasites...not just the parasites native to our home country. Otherwise, we can miss parasites that are causing our health problems.
What types of parasites can't be detected by the ova stool test?
The ova stool test can't find the pinworm parasite. It also can't detect blood, occular, skin or brain parasite infections.
While the pinworm is common, blood parasites are very rare in the first world.
Why are ova parasites stool tests useful?
Ova stool tests for parasites can accurately diagnose the exact parasite that has infected your intestines.
Once a parasite infection is accurately diagnosed, then the precise medication that will defeat that parasite can be taken.
Different parasites require different medication, cleanses or supplement treatments. So accurate diagnosis is important for successful eradication of a parasite infection.
How does the stool parasite test work?
There are 4 steps to the ova stool parasite test:
1. Collect stool
The first step is to collect a sample. This will typically involve defecating somewhere where the stool (poop) can then be scooped into a sample container - but without contamination.
Since parasites and their ova (eggs) aren't present in your stool 100% of the time, samples from 4-8 different days should be collected. This will reduce the chance of a test looking parasite free, when it really is parasite infested.
Typically the sample is also put into preservation fluid for easy shipping and killing of the parasite and fecal contents.
2. Separate fecal matter from parasites and parasites eggs
At this point the fecal matter needs to be separated from the parasites and parasite eggs (ova). This is done using centrifuges...often with multiple cycles to increase concentration of all the parasites and ova.
3. Add contrast dye and prepare wet mount
After the sample is extracted from the centrifuges, a high contrast dye is applied to make it easier to see the parasites and their eggs.
4. Analyze Sample Under Microscope
A (hopefully) well trained and experienced human will now look at the dyed and prepared microscope slide.
Depending on the quality of the dye, and more important, how experienced your technician is, they will look for large parasites, microscopic parasites and parasite eggs.
The experience of the technician can be anyone from a 22 year old biology student who couldn't find another job...all the way up to someone with a Ph.D. in parasitology, who spent decades on multiple continents passionately studying and fighting human parasite infestation.
Some labs hire only the most experienced parasitologist - while others try and find the cheapest lab techs. And if you want fewer false negatives and false positives, you want the labs with the experienced lab techs.
Why are some parasite stool tests more accurate than others?
- How experienced are the parasites test technicians? - does your lab tech have a PhD in parasitology and worked on 4 different continents fighting human parasite infestation? Or is he an inexperienced 22 year old with a bachelors degree? Experience really matters in not missing less common parasites that may be infecting your intestines.
- How many parasites are detectable with the test? - many labs offer stool tests that only find 3-5 parasites species. But because of global food trade and immigration, at least 12 parasites are likely found in people's stools. So beware of how many parasites the stool test can find.
- Contrast dye quality - when you look at parasite eggs under a microscope, they can be translucent. So, you have to use contrast dye to make them easier to see. And it surprised me that some companies use the cheapest dye - and thus are more likely to miss some parasites. As with most things, you get the accuracy you pay for.
- Preservation fluid quality - if you use the wrong preservation formula, you can damage evidence of a parasite's eggs...making it harder to know if you have an intestinal infection. Some companies cheap out and decrease the accuracy of their test results.
- Single or multiple poop samples - on a single day, there is a chance no eggs or parasites will be present in your stool. But if you take 4-8 days of samples, the odds are much higher that a parasite will be present - reducing false negatives with multiple samples.
What Home Parasite Stool Test Is Highly Accurate?
Evan Jerkunica, Parasites.org's founder is happy to help. To get your questions answered, you can: