Faeces samples

Use blue topped universal pots with a collecting spoon.
Samples for examination for Ova, Cyst and Parasites should be freshly passed and sent to the laboratory as soon as practical.
Details of any foreign travel is essential.
For detection of ova, cysts and parasites ideally three faeces samples collected over no more than a 10 day period should be sent. It is usually recommended that specimens are collected every other day and no more than one specimen to be taken on the same day because shedding of cysts and ova tends to be intermittent.
Samples that are formed or solid are NOT tested for Cl.difficile and the sample container should be at least ¼ full so the sample consistency can be noted. Please ensure a representative sample is sent to avoid an incorrect result being issued.

Suggestions for collection of faeces specimens

It is of paramount importance NOT to scoop the specimen from the WC basin as this will be contaminated and may lead to false results.

Pass the motion or part of the motion into a suitable container

With the spoon attached to the blue lid, scoop some of the motion into the specimen container, taking care not to contaminate the outside of the container.
Do not fill more than half full. For certain tests ( e.g GDH/CDT) the container needs to be at least a quarter full.

Make sure the lid is securely fastened and please ensure that the person’s identity is written clearly on the label of the specimen container, then place and seal it in the polythene bag at the back of the request form provided.

Send the specimen to the Microbiology Laboratory as soon as possible.

For further information please refer to the NHS Choices website using the following link: NHS Choices- How Should I Collect a Stool (Faeces) Sample?

Specimen Collection Guidelines for H.pylori Faecal Antigen Testing

Specimen collection requirements

Solid, semi-solid or liquid cultures are approved for this test and should be transported in an airtight sterile container.

Specimen storage and transport

The specimen should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible but may be stored in the fridge overnight.

Limitations of the faecal antigen test

Antimicrobials, proton pump inhibitors and bismuth preparations are know to suppress H.pylori and ingestion of these prior to testing may cause false negative results to occur. In such cases, the test should be repeated on a new specimen obtained two weeks after discontinuing treatment. A positive test result for a patient ingesting these compounds within two weeks prior to performing the faecal antigen test, should be considered accurate.

Other samples for parasitology investigations


Detection of Threadworms

These methods are more reliable than examination of a faeces sample for the detection of Threadworm (Pinworm) infection.
Sellotape slide
Apply a 5-6 cm piece of clear Sellotape to the perianal region first thing in a morning, pressing the adhesive side of the tape firmly against the left and right perianal folds several times; the tape can be wrapped around a tongue depressor to aid specimen collection. Smooth the tape back on the slide, adhesive side down. This should then be transported to the laboratory in a slide carrier box ( available from the laboratory).
Perianal swab
Alternatively a Perianal swab can be taken first thing in a morning before bathing or defecation. A cotton-wool swab in dry container should be used for collection.
Spread buttocks apart, and rub the moistened cotton wool swab over the area around the anus, but do not insert into the anus. Place cotton wool swab back in its container (no transport medium required). If only charcoal transport swabs are available, place the dry swab into a white topped universal container and cut off the swab shaft so the top of the universal can be screwed on.
Occasionally, an adult worm may be collected from a patient and sent in saline or water for identification.
Please be aware that Threadworm ova are highly infectious, therefore hand-washing after this procedure is essential.
Sellotape slide/perianal swab for E. vermicularis ova – It is recommended that samples should be taken for at least four to six consecutive days. If the results of all these are negative the patient can be considered free from infection.

Urine (for S. haematobium)
In urinary schistosomiasis, very few ova are present in the urine. The number of ova in the urine varies throughout the day, being highest in urine obtained between 10am and 2pm. In patients with haematuria, eggs may be found trapped in the blood and mucus in the terminal portion of the urine specimen. It is therefore preferable to obtain total urine collected over the time period between 10am and 2pm. Alternatively, a 24hr collection of terminal samples of urine may be helpful. Sterile containers without boric acid must be used (white topped Universal)