You need to have stools x 3 done for ova and parasites. In order to prevent demise of any parasites, you MUST get O&P collection kits from your doc and/or laboratory. In the US, these consist of a vial of formalin and a vial of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol). These should be collected 1-2 DAYS apart. If you collect the stool specimen directly into these kits, it will preserve any cysts or trophozoite forms. Some parasites, especially Giardia lamblia, shower into the intestine at intervals, which is why the collections are best spaced out. Do NOT collect all the specimens in one day. Better yet, get your doc to order Giardia antigen and/or Cryptosporidium antigen testing on at least one of the specimens. There is a kit we use that tests for both on one sample.
Since you have been a world traveler in a possibly endemic area, you need to inform the lab (on your requisition) your travel history. Under "special instructions" (or somewhere on the requistion in big letters, please put "recent travel to Vietnam." Believe me, this will perk up the tech who reads your testing and will help them immensely, especially if they do find something. Some parasites are found in certain areas only, and it will help to know where you've been.
You should also have one of the specimens, (usually the first one of the series) cultured for enteric pathogens - again if necessary. Since you have been on antibiotics for awhile, you should also have Clostridium difficile antigen testing performed. C. difficile is an organism that can overgrow in your gut after you are on antibiotics and can cause pseudomembranous colitis. This is a common test that medical labs do almost every day. It probably wouldn't hurt to do a test for Rotavirus either, although that's more common in very young kids or the very old.
I was told in a workshop years ago that any diarrhea of a month's standing should ALWAYS be tested for ova and parasites. You're coming up on that milestone, and with your travel history, you need to bug your doctor. Most doctors are clueless about this testing - mostly because they don't deal with these diagnoses on a daily basis. If you get no satisfaction from your regular doc, ask to see an infectious disease specialist ASAP. THEY will know what to do.
Let us know how this works out. You may mail me off list.
Hint: in newsgroups, be real careful about posting your real email address. Add something in the middle of it so automatic netcrawlers don't harvest your address. I doctored your email address below. You can always remove that stuff when replying to the sender.
Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
Microbiology 31 years
"Teresa Clonan" <teresanospamclonan at aapt.net.au> wrote in message news:mailman.498.1125687293.29381.parasite at net.bio.net...
Hi I stumbled across this site on the internet and thought I'd email, I'm having a really difficult time with a presumed (as yet undiagnosed) parasite, and I really need some help.
I am a 33 year old Australian female, who has been have debilitating GI symptoms for over three weeks now.
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