|Scolex (head) of Taenia solium|
The identification of the parasite is fundamental for the correct diagnosis of the parasitosis. This requires training in microscopic techniques staining and identification.
- Reading: Para-Site. Helminth Parasites
The microscopic identification techniques of parasitic helminths are complex and require specialized training.
This experiment focuses on the identification of parasitic helminths by microscopic and macroscopic observation, not in the manipulation of samples, nor in the microscopic techniques of preparation and staining. For this, a series of parasitic helminths will be observed.
For the identification of cestodes:
- Reading: M. Arcari; A. Baxendine; C. E. Bennett. Guide to Parasitology. The Cestodes
For the identification of nematodes:
- Reading: M. Arcari; A. Baxendine; C. E. Bennett. Guide to Parasitology. The Nematodes
For the identification of trematodes:
- Reading: M. Arcari; A. Baxendine; C. E. Bennett. Guide to Parasitology. The Trematodes
Ways to perform the experiment
1. In Laboratory
The laboratory that performs parasitic helminthology experiments and tests, must have a supply of samples, adequate instruments and staff training. If this is not possible, the microscopic preparations can be purchased. The microscopic preparations of helminth parasites usually cost about 8-10 dollars each. If macroscopic samples of helminths are not available, a good and alternative option is to make visits to museums of Natural History.
2. In Home Lab
In principle, the experiment is not dangerous if carried out with commercial microscopic preparations. For the experiment it is necessary to have a microscope something better than a toy. There are possibilities for setting up a low cost home microscopy lab (in spanish).
If macroscopic samples of helminths are not available, a good alternative option is to make visits to museums of Natural History.
For this purpose, microscopic images of parasitic helminths can be made in the same post in the next section.
Images of helminth parasites
Click on the image to enlarge.
|Proglottids of Diphyllobothrium latum|
|Trichinella spiralis in muscle tissue|
|Eggs of Ancylostoma duodenale|
|Egg of Ascaris lumbricoides|
|Anisakis in herring|
|Egg of Enterobius vermicularis|
Questions and activities
1.- Draw the observed helminths.
2.- Make a table or diagram of identification of the observed helminths.
3.- Indicate the identifying characters of each helminth observed, a small description and their parasitological importance.
4.- Search the Internet for images of helminth parasites.
5.- Enter into the website Global Atlas of Helminth Infections, to Maps and observe in the maps the distribution of the parasitic diseases for helminths, for country or for type of parasite.
Resources for further learning
- Reading: M. Arcari; A. Baxendine; C. E. Bennett. Guide to Parasitology
- Reading: Maria S Sepulveda; John M Kinsella. Helminth Collection and Identification from Wildlife
- Reading: Tuatara. A Guide to Identification of Heminth Parasites recorded from Wild Ruminants in New Zealand
Spanish version of this page