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Fecal flotations

Joan Marie Shields jshields at rigel.oac.uci.edu
Thu Mar 11 10:49:06 EST 1999

David S. Lindsay <lindsayd at vt.edu> wrote:
>A fecal flotation using centrifugation takes about 20 minutes to conduct
>and another 10 minutes to read. Therefor, time should not be a factor.

>Any ideas on why this procedure is not done in human parasitology? Is
>the fear of airbore pathogens a possible reason for not doing a
>flotation. Capped centrifuge tubes would prevent airbore pathogens.
>Fecal flotation with and without centrifugation is common in veterinary

I work with Cyclospora in environmental waters.  I've looked at flotation
as a means of further purifying them.  One of the problems is that the
oocysts tend to stick to bits of debris and sink - not to mention that 
they tend to sink on their own.  

The best way to identify them (right now) is to do a wet mount silde
and view it under UV.  They autofluoresce very nicely and you can 
switch to bright field to id internal structures.  The acid-fast stain
is inconsistant though there is a modified boiling safranin stain 
(Vishevera, CDC) that works much better.   

Joan Shields       jshields at uci.edu       http://www.ags.uci.edu/~jshields
University of California - Irvine         School of Social Ecology
Department of Environmental Analysis and Design
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