Qualitative Fecal Flotation Information

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Qualitative Fecal Flotation Information

Test Code: FECQL
Test Name: Fecal Qualitative

Contact Name: Dr. Mani Lejeune
Contact Telephone: 607-253-3581
E-mail: ml872@cornell.edu

Test Method: Double centrifugation concentration fecal flotation
Sample Required: 10 grams of feces
Collection container: plastic leak proof container
Transport: Ship on cold packs
Test Day: M-F
Lag Time: 1-3 days
Species: All species
Results Format: Identification of parasites detected in feces, or No Parasites Detected


The qualitative fecal flotation, using a double centrifugation concentration technique, is a general broad based test for evaluating feces for parasitic infections. It indicates the presence or absence of patent protozoan or worm infections in domestic and wild animals of all species. Samples from individual animals are preferred. Composite samples tell when there is a parasite problem, but not the animals that are particularly affected.

In this laboratory, all samples are actively floated (centrifuged) using a sugar solution (1.33 specific gravity). Zinc sulfate solution (1.18 specific gravity) is used also for samples from small animals, animals under six months of age, and when delicate protozoa, such as Giardia, or worms, such as nematode larvae, are of concern. Using these flotation media, protozoan cysts and worm eggs and larvae are recovered for microscopic evaluation.

When submitting a sample provide a sufficient sample to make a diagnosis possible, and include a history of the health concerns related to the animal(s) from which the sample(s) are collected. For best results, collect fresh samples, keep them refrigerated, and submit them for examination within seven days of collection. Samples that are preserved in 10% formalin or 70% alcohol can also be submitted, but the preservative may compromise the quality of the sample for parasite detection.