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What avenues are available to me to have digital microscopy images analyzed?

Wilf Russell wilfr at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 18 04:49:34 EST 2001

Comments inline...

Dilworth <bactitech at hortonsbay.com> wrote in message news:<3b2a5b66$0$88181$6d5eacc5 at news.infinet.com>...
> Wilf, do yourself a favor, go to a doctor and get a lab to do an ova &
> parasite examination.  I went through this picture thing with someone
> this spring, and it's a nightmare.  Your pictures don't look like
> anything I've ever seen, and I've been doing O&P's for 26 years now. 
> All CAP accredited laboratories have to do check samples for these exams
> which include exotic parasites from around the world, and if the labs
> don't pass the proficiencies, they cannot perform the testing!  Give us
> some credit.  The docs may kiss it off, but the techs know when they see
> a parasite.

You just hit the nail on the head there.  How does one get to a tech
when the docs "kiss it off" as you say?  Most labs and medical tests
require authorization by an MD, and as you have acknowledged,
convincing a doctor to do what YOU want to do is near impossible. 
(not to mention that I'm guessing insurance companies encourage them
to do as few tests as possible).  If this turns out to be parasitic in
nature, then ultimately the medical community will no doubt be
involved.  I want to be able to show them some reasonable degree of
"proof" (knowing that via pictures we can't be 100% sure) before I get
them involved.  We have gone down this path with another situation in
our life and found the road to be extremely frustrating.  From doctors
that were very condenscending to doctors that just didn't want to
listen to what we had to say.  I don't have a medical degree.. what
could I possibly know about my own body?  Give me a break too! 
(given.. not all doctors are this way.. but more than I would like to

> If you don't get anywhere with a family doc, go to an infectious disease
> specialist (for parasites).  That's what they deal with.  A
> gastroenterologist would be the choice for non-parasitological problems
> with your GI tract.
> Without measurements (using a micrometer) no one can really help you out
> much, as we base our ID's on measurements.

I will keep these in mind and appreciate the guidance.
> Persistence can pay off, though, as my spring-time correspondent did end
> up presenting with a parasite.  He took some purgatives from a Chinese
> pharmacist (herbal) and they let go, apparently (pretty gross). It was a
> type of parasite that didn't produce eggs, so nothing was showing up in
> the O&P exams.  He had been traveling world-wide so there was a
> suspicion there.  If you haven't traveled outside the U.S. or eaten raw
> fish, the list of parasites shortens quite a bit.  Giardia lamblia,
> acquired from bad water, is the most common parasite found in the U.S. 
> Ascaris, Strongyloides, etc. can be found also, but not nearly as often
> as Giardia.

I don't know about you, but I think the world is getting a whole lot
smaller.  Most people that I know have travelled at least to Europe,
many to Asia, and most to Mexico and/or Latin America.  Despite the
fact that preventative medicine and more hygienic practices are
becoming more pervasive throughout the world, so is travel.  It would
be logical to conclude the the movement of parasites through the world
may be increasing as well.  (I have no figures to prove this fact,
just an intuition).  As for raw fish...hmm.. sushi anyone?  There are
other dishes too especially in foreign, staple and exotic cuisines.

> Check out some parasite web sites:
> http://www.cdfound.to.it/html/atlas.htm#atlas
> http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~parasite/home.html
> http://www.aan18.dial.pipex.com/urls.htm
> http://www.cellsalive.com/parasit.htm
> These should keep you busy.

Thanks.. I think between my wife and I we have visited most of these,
but we will certainly check them out.

> Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
> Microbiology
> Wilf Russell wrote:
> > 
> > > I have some digital images taken via a microscope of a stool sample
> > > that appears to contain some parasite eggs.  
> > >
> > > I realize that the canonical answer would be to visit a doctor, get a
> > > stool sample, and send it to a lab for diagnosis but that option is
> > > currently not available to me. 
> >

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