Medical Parasitology - Frequently Asked Questions


Medical Parasitology FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions


How can I submit a specimen for parasite testing?
Answer: Specimens for parasite examination must be submitted by a medical provider. If you are a patient, discuss your concerns with your doctor and rely on him or her to order the appropriate tests. If you are a medical provider and have never submitted a specimen to the DSHS Laboratory, please call Laboratory Reporting at (512) 776-7578 to tell them that you are a new submitter and want to send a specimen for parasite testing. If you have questions about appropriate specimen handling, please call the Parasitology Team at (512) 776-7560.
Question: Can you give me the name of a doctor to see about a parasite infection?
Answer: The DSHS Medical Parasitology Team cannot make physician referrals. Please visit your general practitioner for assistance.
Question: Do you test (non-human) animals for parasites?
Answer: Our laboratory does not routinely test veterinary specimens. We do, however, test animal specimens that are implicated in human disease investigations (e.g. raccoon feces in potential Baylisascaris cases). For the submission of triatomine bugs or ticks, please contact DSHS Zoonosis Control at (512) 776-2888.
Question: How can I send a specimen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

Please ship these specimens to the DSHS Laboratory; call the Parasitology Team for handling instructions. At the CDC’s request, specimens sent to them for testing should be routed through state public health laboratories. There are rare cases where the time element is so crucial that they should be sent directly to CDC Laboratories, but the local state public health laboratory must be notified in any case. This insures that a result report can be returned to the original submitter as soon as possible. The CDC no longer issues reports to submitters directly, only to state public health laboratories.

Last updated November 30, 2015