Case #139 - September, 2004
Stool specimens were collected from Haitian patients at a refugee clinic for routine ova-and-parasite (O&P) examination. The stool specimens were collected in 10% formalin and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and sent to the county public health laboratory for processing and examination. Figures A and B show what was observed in low numbers in a concentrated wet mount of the formalin-preserved stool from one of the patients. The objects measured on average 53 micrometers long by 22 micrometers wide. What is your diagnosis? Based on what criteria?
This was a case of trichuriasis caused by the whipworm, Trichuris trichiura. Diagnostic features included:
- unembryonated, barrel-shaped eggs within the size range for T. trichiura.
- eggs with a thick shell and hyaline polar plugs.
More on: Trichuriasis
Images presented in the monthly case studies are from specimens submitted for diagnosis or archiving. On rare occasions, clinical histories given may be partly fictitious.
DPDx is an educational resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention, control, and treatment visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/.