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Test Code OPSTS Ova and Parasites, Concentrate and Permanent Smear

Additional Codes

Epic: LAB6872

Quest: 2679

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation: Interfering substances-bismuth, barium (wait 7-10 days), antimicrobial agents (wait 2 weeks), gall bladder dye (wait 3 weeks after procedure).

Specimen Type: Preserved stool

Collection Container/Type

Preferred: Total-Fix transport vial

Acceptable: 10% formalin AND Polyvinyl Alcohol Transport (PVA) vials, Sodium Para-Pak SVT transport vial

Specimen Volume: 10 grams or 10 mL

Collection Instructions: 

  1. Place fresh stool in preservative vials within 30 minutes of collection.
  2. Add stool to bring the liquid level to the "fill to here" line on the vial.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Send specimens at room temperature in the same shipping container.

Additional Information: 

  1. If parasite infestation is strongly suspected, collet at least 3 stool specimens every other day, since a single specimen can be negative.  If Giardia is strongly suspected, see CRYGI, Cryptosporidium/Giardia Antigen



Specimen Type: BAL

Collection Container/Type

Preferred: Sterile container

Acceptable: 10% formalin 

Specimen Volume: 10  mL

Collection Instructions: 

  1. The specimen should be a deep expectorated sputum, preferably collected in the early morning.
  2. A 24-hour sputum collection is also accpetable.
  3. Submit in a sterile screw-capped container, unpreserved or in 10% formalin to increase stability.


Specimen Type: Urine

Collection Container/Type: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 25 mL

Collection Instructions: 

  1. Urine may be submitted unpreserved for exam for Schistosoma.
  2. Collect at mid-day.
  3. Peak egg secretion occurs between noon and 3 p.m.
  4. Do not submit first morning specimen.
  5. In patient with hematuria, eggs may be found trapped in blood and mucous in the terminal portion (last-voided portion) of the urine.

Specimen Minimum Volume

5 grams or 5 mL of stool

10 mL urine (unpreserved)

2 mL sputum or BAL

Specimen Stability

Stool (preserved)
Room temperature: 6 months
Refrigerated: 6 months
Frozen: Unacceptable

Urine, Sputum, BAL (unpreserved)
Room temperature: Unacceptable
Refrigerated: 48 hours
Frozen: Unacceptable

Sputum, BAL (preserved)
Room temperature: 6 months
Refrigerated: Unacceptable
Frozen: Unacceptable

Reference Range

No ova and parasites seen

Rejection Due To

Unpreserved stool • Specimens containing barium • Stool preserved in medium other than parasitology fixative • Received frozen • Stool submitted in expired transport vial • Preserved urine • Unpreserved sputum and urine received room temperature or frozen • Liver abscess or aspirate • Stool submitted in EcoFix® transport vial

Report Available

5-7 days

Clinical Significance

Diseases caused by human parasites remain on a worldwide basis among the principle causes of morbidity and mortality. Correct diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infection depends on proper collection, transport, detection and identification of parasites in stool specimens. Symptoms range from malaise to death. Treatment is dependent upon examining multiple stool specimens due to the erratic shed rates of some parasites.

Method Name

Microscopic Examination of Concentrate • Permanent Stained Smear


O & P

Ova & Parasite

Day(s) Performed


CPT Codes

87177, 87209