Cyclospora Smear, Stool
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a coccidian parasite first associated with human infection in 1977. Before 1966, there had been documentation of only a few outbreaks. In 1966, there were outbreaks in 10 states and Canada that were associated with the consumption of raspberries. More than 850 laboratory confirmed cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May and June, 1996.
Parasite (O & P) transport with formalin (Para-Pak® pink)
Fecal specimens for parasitic examination should be collected before initiation of antidiarrheal therapy or antiparasitic therapy. The highest yield on hospitalized patients occurs when diarrhea is present on admission or within 72 hours of admission. The onset of diarrhea more than 72 hours after admission is usually caused by Clostridium difficile toxin rather than parasites or the usual stool pathogens. The following recommendations are made for efficient and cost-effective diagnosis of diarrheal disease in patients admitted with gastroenteritis.
• Submit one or two specimens per diarrheal illness immediately. Consider requesting the EIA for Giardia if that is the primary suspected organism.
• If those are negative, submit an additional specimen after five days.
• Patients who are immunocompromised by AIDS, malignancy, or immunosuppressive therapy may require additional testing for unusual stool pathogens.
Maintain specimen at room temperature.
Inappropriate specimen transport conditions (eg, frozen) or device; improper labeling; specimen received after prolonged delay (usually more than five days); leaking specimen; specimen received in denture cup, “Cool Whip” container, margarine container, or similar container