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Fecal flotations

Judy/Bob Dilworth dilworth at megsinet.net
Wed Mar 10 21:46:46 EST 1999

I know that flotation is "the other" methodology for fecal parasites. 
In the labs I've worked at we've always used the ethyl acetate with
formalin method, using the sediment for our slide preparations.  I'm not
sure why this is.  Any other M.T.'s out there that know why?

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)

"David S. Lindsay" wrote:
> The recent postings on Cyclospora have me wondering why human medical
> parasitologists do not use fecal flotation to diagnose intestinal
> parasites. This has crossed my mind several times in the last 20 years.
> (I am not an old cogger, I started when I was 22). Cyclospora, Isospora
> belli, C. parvum, amoeba cysts, and Giardia cysts all float in sugar or
> Zinc-sulfate solutions and the fecal flotation is a concentration
> technique. Most nematode eggs also float in these solutions.
> Is it to basic? I remember a case report of I. belli in an infant. The
> problem went undiagnosed for several months and intestinal surgery was
> done to control the condition. When the child died the infection was
> diagnosed at autopsy. I keep thinking why didn't they do a fecal
> flotation?
> 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
> parasitology.

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