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Cambridge Nutritional Sciences Ltd
Eden Research Park
Henry Crabb Road
Littleport, Cambridgeshire
United Kingdom, CB6 1SE

TEL: 44 (0) 1353 863279
FAX: 44 (0) 1353 863330

Parasite Screen

A parasite is an organism which exploits any other live animal for nutrition. In most cases, the parasitic process causes harm to the host as it removed nutrients intended for the host, or due to its ability to carry diseases into the body.


Parasites are often thought of as a tropical disease, but this is a huge misconception. It is estimated that as many as 10% of people in the UK have parasites. Many people will carry parasitic infections at a subclinical level for years, with the parasite feeding, reproducing and affecting the health of the host. Contaminated food and water, raw or inadequately cooked meat and fish and physical contact are the most widespread sources of intestinal parasites. The effect of parasites living in the gut depends on the species of parasite identified, of which there are two main types, helminths and protozoa.
Diagnosis of helminth infection is normally through the detection of the eggs in the stool. These eggs are highly infectious, and very robust. The pig tapeworm Taenia solium has been shown to survive for a decade and still re-infect a new host when eaten. Worms will live in the gut for many years reproducing, reducing the absorption of nutrients and generally affecting the host’s health. 
The protozoa are single celled organisms. These organisms combine all organs needed for feeding, reproducing and mobility in one single cell, typically about a fiftieth of a millimetre in diameter. The ability to rapidly reproduce and the excretion of toxic waste materials, means that when these animals do infect the gut, there is the potential for serious acute disease. There are many protozoa that are recognised as pathogenic, that is disease causing, typical symptoms include diarrhoea, cramps, flatulence and abdominal discomfort.


Symptoms of intestinal parasites


  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Gas, bloating
  • Dysentery (loose stools containing blood and mucus)
  • Rash, itching around the anus or  vulva
  • Stomach pain, tenderness
  • Feeling tired
  • Weight loss
  • Passing a worm or section of a worm, in your stool

The likelihood of a parasitic infection is greatly increased if you experience any of the above symptoms following foreign travel.

How the test works.
Cambridge Nutritional Sciences carry out a total of 12 investigations. Samples are subjected to a microscopy technique that utilises Optimized Parasite Recovery (OPR) in order to ensure that all clinically relevant parasites will be identified. This process involves combining multiple stool specimens (taken over 3 consecutive days) for intestinal ova and parasite examination, as opposed to only using an individual sample for evaluation. Studies show that by combining stool specimens, the overall detection rate of parasites increases by more than 20%. Special stains are also used to enhance the detection of some of the common gut parasites.

Sample collection
When you order the test we will send you the stool collection kit with comprehensive instructions on how to collect and store your sample. Samples need to be taken on 3 different days, and put into the pots provided containing a preservative. When you have collected the required samples, you just post them back to the laboratory in the mail-safe container. 

Test turnaround times
The results of our investigation will be returned to you within 10 working days.