Quantitative Fecal Flotation Information

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Quantitative Fecal Flotation Information

Test Code: FECQN
Test Name: Fecal Quantitative

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 with the number per gram of feces, or No Parasites Detected


he quantitative fecal flotation, a double centrifugation concentration technique, is used to estimate the number of worm eggs or larvae, and protozoan cysts per gram of feces in a sample. Samples from individual animals are preferred. The results of this test can help determine whether a treatment is effective, the shedding status, or if drug resistance is developing. Composite samples tell when there is a parasite problem, but not the animals that are particularly affected, the intensity of the parasite burden in an animal, or the amount of environmental contamination that may be occurring. A quantified fecal examination is used primarily for large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats and camelids, but fecal samples from all species can be quantified, if requested.

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 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. If the sample is diarrheic, it cannot be quantified, so a qualitative fecal flotation will be done instead.

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 samples recently voided from the animal(s), keep them refrigerated, and submit them for examination within seven days of collection.

A Nematode Larval Culture may also be requested to identify to genus and/or species level any “strongyle” eggs detected in the sample. If you request a Nematode Larval Culture send a larger (15-20 gram) sample. Do not refrigerate the sample if you request a Nematode Larval Culture.