Nematode Larval Culture Information

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Nematode Larval Culture Information

Test Code: NLC
Test Name: Nematode Larval Culture

Contact Name: Dr. Mani Lejeune
Contact Telephone: 607-253-3581

Test Method: Nematode larval identification
Sample Required: 15-20 grams of feces
Collection container: plastic leak proof container
Transport: Unrefrigerated
Test Day: M-F
Lag Time: Two weeks
Species: All species, particularly ruminants, camelids and horses
Results Format: Identification of nematode larvae detected


Most nematode eggs in the order Strongylida are not identifiable to genus and/or species when detected in a fecal sample. To resolve this, feces can be cultured to obtain third stage larvae which can then be identified further. This information is helpful in determining the species of “strongyle” nematodes present in an animal, and the treatment or management necessary to reduce or eliminate the worms.

The best sample for a Nematode Larval Culture is a freshly voided fecal sample that is not refrigerated and submitted for testing within two days of collection. Ground samples may contain free-living larvae that complicate the identification.

In this laboratory, this procedure is done only after a quantified double centrifugation concentration flotation procedure for parasites has been evaluated. If the number of “strongyle” eggs detected in this procedure is 100 per gram or more, the nematode culture can be done. If fewer than 100 eggs per gram are detected in the sample, enough larvae may not develop to allow representative identification of the parasite population.