The Comprehensive Parasitology is a gastrointestinal stool test which evaluates for presence of parasites. Additionally the stool test evaluates levels of beneficial flora, imbalanced flora, pathogenic bacteria, and yeast. This stool test can help reveal hidden causes behind acute or chronic conditions that develop from parasitic infection or dysbiosis. The Comprehensive Parasitology stool test is ideal for patients with sudden changes in bowel pattern, especially for those who have been traveling abroad or camping.
Susceptibility to Parasite Infection:
It is generally assumed that travel to a Third World country or the occasional camping trips are prerequisites for acquiring a parasite infection. The truth is the combination of extensive worldwide travel, increasing immigration to the United States, day care centers (and other sources of easy transmission) -- anyone is now susceptible. Diarrheal diseases, in fact, (bacterial as well as parasitic) constitute the greatest worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality.
Various organisms are increasingly recognized for their potential pathogenicity. For example:
- Giardia lamblia is the leading cause of intestinal parasitic infection in the United States. Only a few decades ago it was not considered pathogenic.
- Cryptosporidium, a well-known pathogen in animals, was only recently identified as a human pathogen.
- Blastocytis hominis is the most frequently observed fecal parasite. Its level of pathogenicity continues to be controversial.
Pathogenicity, in general, appears to vary depending on the parasite itself, host susceptibility, and the microbiological environment in which the parasite lives.
Parasitic Symptoms of Infection:
The most common symptoms of parasite infection are diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other parasitic symptoms may include flatulence, anorexia, weight loss, fevers, chills, blood or mucus in the stool, and fatigue.
Parasitic Systemic Complaints:
We generally think of parasite infections as causing acute gastrointestinal symptoms. An increasing number of parasite cases feature systemic complaints not traditionally associated with parasites, such as:
- Reactive arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Constipation in individuals who are immune-compromised or whose intestinal flora is chronically imbalanced
Diagnosing Parasitic Infections:
The diagnosis of parasitic infections depends on the laboratory, with detection rates dramatically increasing with more sophisticated procedures. Genova Diagnostics' Comprehensive Parasitology test profile uses the most technologically advanced procedures to accurately identify a wide range of protozoal parasites, including amoebae, flagellates, ciliates, coccidian, and microsporidia. Specimens are carefully analyzed by highly-trained technicians using computer-enhanced microscopy, new staining procedures, and advanced immunoassay techniques. These accurate detection methods allow for increased detection rates, intensifying the awareness of the important relationship between parasitic infection and a broad spectrum of illnesses.