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Vaginal Parasite

Dennis C Hwang dchwang at itsa.ucsf.edu
Fri Nov 12 12:26:37 EST 1999

In article <382AE082.327D332A at hsc.vcu.edu>,
Tammy Ferguson  <tjfergus at hsc.vcu.edu> wrote:

<piggybacking a reply--sorry>

>Bob/Judy Dilworth wrote:
>> The director of our lab's cytology department brought a PAP smear in
>> to microbiology today.  On the slide was an organism that resembled a
>> louse, but it was very round with nothing sticking out and not
>> elongated. The whole organism was easily visualized under 45X
>> objective. I'm sorry I didn't get accurate measurements.  There were
>> no visible legs, but we couldn't tell if it was curled up or not.  On
>> the back end were approximately eight tiny hairs arranged singly that
>> were arranged four on each side and continued up half way up the
>> body.  Under oil immersion it almost looked as if it were emerging
>> from some sort of egg case.
>> I have searched many parasitology web sites and cannot find any
>> pictures of any early stages of crab lice.  It really doesn't look
>> like this organism to me.  Do pubic or other lice have a larval stage
>> per se?  Where might I find pictures of these if they exist?  Most of
>> us in our department have only ever seen nits and adults.  We only saw
>> one organism on the thin prep and they were going to make another to
>> see if they could find more.
>> Anyone have a clue as to what this may be?  I wish I had a picture but
>> I don't.  I personally think this is an incidental finding, but
>> apparently the woman had some pathology that may or may not have
>> something to do with this organism.

>From your description, I wonder if it could be a _Sarcoptes scabei_
(scabies mite).  Check out Koneman's _Color Atlas and Textbook of
Diagnostic Microbiology_, 5th ed., color plate 20-8 F.  Might help explain
symptoms if the patient is really, really itchy for some reason.  If not
scabies, maybe some other sort of mite--that's what your description made
me think of, anyway.

*   dchwang at itsa.ucsf.edu   *   xenopathologist at large!   *

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