Parasitic diseases have affected people around the world and these often elusive for diagnosis because physical examination is not sufficient enough for its diagnosis. It is thus important that a parasitology laboratory provides diagnostic tests that will determine that presence of a parasite in an individual (Badiee et al. , 2009). The laboratory allows an effective venue for screening of parasites, as well as testing for the correct drug that should be administered to a patient. In order to setup a parasitology laboratory, the following methods should be available:
I. Blood specimens A. Staining of blood specimens. The examination of a blood sample from a patient is one of the procedures that are commonly performed in a parasitology laboratory. Giemsa stain is generally employed to establish the presence of a parasite in the blood. Another stain that is often used for testing is Delafield’s hematoxylin stain. Giemsa blood examination is an important parasitological method is screening for Plasmodium, Leishmania, as well as Trypanosoma (Pennington et al. , 2009).
On the other hand, hematoxylin stain is employed for screening of microfilariae. The procedure involves the production of a film on a slide that contains the specimen and examining this under a microscope. It is also possible to prepare a direct mount of the blood of a patient after centrifugation of the sample and visualizing the slide under a microscope. B. Equipment required. Blood examination through staining generally requires the use of a microscope for screening of stained slides.
In addition, a centrifuge is also needed for collection of blood cells from the blood sample that is submitted for diagnostic testing. C. Consumables. The general consumable materials needed for blood examination include glass slides, cover slips, glass pipettes and staining dishes. Other laboratory materials necessary for the procedure are graduated cylinders, ethanol, cotton swabs and lancets for blood collection. II. For stool samples A. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of stool specimens.
Another common diagnostic procedure that is performed in a parasitology laboratory is the examination of stool specimens. The examination allows the determination of protozoans, as well as eggs of helminthes in a patient. In the case of screening for protozoa, the stool specimen is associated with the presence of cysts, as well as trophozoites. On the other hand, helminth eggs, larvae or even the entire worm are usually present in the stool specimen of a patient with helminth infection.
Macroscopic examination of the stool involves the describing the specimen in terms of consistency, color and presence of mucus or blood. Microscopic examination of stool specimens involves the staining and screening under higher magnification optics. It is possible to perform wet mounts of the stool specimens that are received in the parasitology laboratory. This procedure is often used for screening for eggs and cysts in the stool sample. The wet mount procedures can also determine the presence of erythrocytes and lymphyocytes that may have been released together with the stool.
Iodine mounts allow the determination of glycogen in the stool sample, which is a standard indicator for the presence of parasites. A special stain, buffered methylene blue, stained trophozoites that may be present in the stool sample. However, it should be understood that the methylene blue stain can only be used for fresh stool samples. B. Equipment required. Stool examination through staining generally requires the use of a microscope for screening of stained slides. C. Consumables.
The general consumable materials needed for stool examination include glass slides, cover slips, glass pipettes and staining dishes. Special stains such as Lugol’s iodine, as well as buffered methylene blue and safranin are necessary to performed stool examination. Formalin, polyvinyl alcohol and Schaudinn’s fixative should also be available for fixing the stool specimen on the slide. It is also important to have different gradations of ethanol for dehydration steps in the preparation of the slide. Xylene is also important in clearing the tissue samples on the test slides.