One of the famous quotes: “In reality, the parasites have killed many more people than any war in history. ” It is surprising how the simplest, sometimes one-celled creature, manages to disrupt the work of a large organization. People did not stay in debt. Methods have been developed which make it possible to detect the parasitic invasion at an early stage and to start treatment quickly. Tests for parasites in adults can be taken both in an ordinary public hospital and in the laboratory of private clinics.
Who are parasites and how to identify them
Parasites are a large group of organisms capable of subsisting solely on the resources of the host. They cannot live independently. Parasites in the human body attach themselves to the skin (insects, ticks), in the gastrointestinal tract (ascaris, pinworms). In the intestine, the environment most favorable to the life of the parasite. There are also creatures that live in lymphatic vessels (filariae), on the mucous membranes of internal organs (trematodes). To gain a foothold in the host's body, worms and protozoa use suction cups, hooks, clothespins, chitinous plates, or stiff bristles.
It is possible to determine the presence of parasites in the human body and the number of their colony using modern laboratory diagnostic methods. What tests should an adult do for parasites:
- Histological examination of feces.
- Serological tests (blood tests): enzyme immunoassay (ELISA), indirect haemagglutination test (RNG), immunofluorescence test (RIF or Koons method), complement fixation test. PCR analysis
It is often difficult to make a diagnosis because not all parasitoses have characteristic clinical manifestations and not all methods are equally sensitive. What is the name of the analysis to be performed, will say the attending physician. It is often recommended to do a full analysis for parasites.
How dangerous are parasites
Parasitic infestations seriously impair human immunity. Immunity is one of the components of the body's regulatory system. With immunodeficiency:
According to statistics, more than a billion people are infected with parasites. You don't even suspect that you have become a victim of parasites.
It is easy to determine the presence of parasites in the body by just one symptom - bad breath. Ask your loved ones if your breath smells like in the morning (before brushing your teeth). If so, there is a 99% chance that you are infected with parasites.
Infection with parasites leads to neurosis, rapid fatigability, sudden mood swings, and later more serious illnesses begin.
In mencause: prostatitis, impotence, adenoma, cystitis, sand stones, kidney and bladder.
In women: pain and inflammation of the ovaries. Fibroids, fibroids, fibrocystic mastopathy, inflammation of the adrenal glands, bladder, and kidneys develop. As well as the heart and cancer.
We want to warn you right away that you don't have to run to the pharmacy and buy expensive drugs that pharmacists say will exterminate all parasites. Most drugs are extremely ineffective, in addition, they cause enormous damage to the body:
- increases the risk of viral infection;
- the level of antioxidant and anticancer protection decreases;
- there is a violation of vascular permeability and disturbances in the processes of hematopoiesis.
Parasites can cause severe allergic reactions.
also have direct damaging effects. They attach to internal organs with hooks or sharp plates, mechanically damaging the mucous membranes. The normal functioning of the affected organ is disturbed.
Helminth activity harms the body at the molecular level. The rate of synthesis of insulin, growth factor and collagen decreases. This leads to a slowing down of the processes of growth and physical development. In addition, absorption in the small intestine decreases. For parasitic infections, a small chronic blood loss from the affected organs is characteristic.
Recent scientific studies have shown that intestinal worms release specific toxins that inhibit cytokine activity. They are information molecules that regulate intercellular contacts. They provide the cell with information on the external environment. If there is free space, the cell can start to divide. Blocking cytokines can lead to tumor formation. Cytokines also provide a coordinated response of the immune, nervous and hormonal systems to the action of foreign agents.
Reasons for a successful pest test
When infected with a single parasite, a person may not experience any symptoms. But over time, the number of helminths increases, and the infection begins to manifest itself. It is necessary to be tested for parasites if symptoms such as abdominal pain of different localization appear, which can occur spontaneously or on palpation.
The nature of the symptoms depends on the type of parasite. Itching and burning in the anal area is caused by pinworms. Roundworms cause severe allergic reactions, as well as abdominal cramps. Giardia, echinococcus, and fluke affect the liver. They are often the cause of biliary obstruction and cholestasis (biliary stasis), inflammation of the gallbladder. One of the main signs of pathology of the liver and pancreas is light-colored feces with drops of fat. A symptom of a parasitic effect on the liver and gallbladder is pain in the right hypochondrium.
If more than one of the symptoms listed appear, you should definitely go to the hospital in order to identify the parasites in the body in time. Children, people who live or work with animals should have regular preventive tests for parasites. If you regularly eat raw, jerky and lightly salted meat, bacon or fish, the risk of infection is very high. Also in this case, it is necessary to regularly check for parasites.
A histologic coprogram is a microscopic examination of feces to detect eggs, larvae, or traces of adult parasites. A detailed analysis of feces is a universal method of detecting intestinal helminths (pinworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms).
How to take a stool test. You need to buy a special sterile container from the pharmacy. It is filled with a third of its volume with feces. Before having a bowel movement, be sure to urinate to prevent urine from entering the sample. The lid of the filled container is tight.
Biomaterials can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours, after this period they are no longer suitable for research. A week before the test, you should stop taking any medication, exclude fried and fatty foods. The day before taking the material, you should not put on rectal suppositories, drink laxatives or do enemas.
The main drawback of the coprogram is its low efficiency (around 35%). Helminths do not lay eggs every day. Therefore, the analysis of feces for parasites should be passed three times with an interval of 3-5 days. Prolonged results can usually be achieved 4-6 days after delivery.
Scratching for parasites
A scratch or smear from the anus is taken only for the diagnosis of enterobiosis (pinworms). The smear is taken in two ways:
- using a special spatula or cotton swab;
- with duct tape.
A spatula can be purchased at a drugstore. A smear is taken around the anus and perineum. The procedure can be performed at home or in a polyclinic. The material is taken in the morning, before that you can not wash or shower. If the scraping was performed at home, the spatula should be placed in an airtight container or bag and delivered to the laboratory the same day. The result of the analysis can be received tomorrow. To make an accurate diagnosis, an analysis for the presence of parasites must be taken several times in a row.
You can donate blood for the parasites. It is a universal object of laboratory research. By changing its composition, we can judge pathologies inside the body. How to identify parasites by examining the blood, what tests do they do? Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies and antigens, indirect hemagglutination reaction, and immunofluorescence are performed. In the general analysis of blood in the presence of parasitic infection in the body, the level of eosinophils is increased.
The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) allows you to determine the presence and concentration of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood, which are produced in response to the invasion of foreign agents (antigens). ELISA is a very sensitive method that allows you to detect antigens even in small amounts. With its help, you can accurately determine the type of parasites, the size of the colony, as well as the stage of development of the process.
ELISA for the presence of parasites in the human body is deciphered by five classes of antibodies. To diagnose helminthic invasion, the presence of immunoglobulins from only three classes is sufficient:
- Immunoglobulin M (IgM). Produced 4 days after infection, present in blood for 6 weeks. The presence of IgM indicates the intensive multiplication of foreign agents.
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG). They enter the bloodstream 20 to 28 days after infection and can be present in the plasma for several months or years. The presence of IgG indicates infection.
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Produced two weeks after the penetration of pathogenic organisms, they disappear after 5 to 8 weeks. The presence of IgA indicates an infection or that the body is cleansing itself.
A blood sample for ELISA is taken in the morning on an empty stomach.
The indirect haemagglutination test is the most specific and sensitive of all serological methods. The reaction of red blood cells to the action of various antigens is being studied. The character and intensity of erythrocyte sedimentation are evaluated. With a high and very intense reaction, the bottom of the test tube is covered with stuck erythrocytes. The results of the analysis are deciphered by the attending physician.
An indirect fluorescent antibody test reveals an antigen-antibody complex. For this, a smear of a blood sample is treated with a special serum against immunoglobulins, which contains a fluorochrome. Then the sample is examined under a fluorescence microscope.
Results are evaluated by the intensity of the yellow-green glow. High titers indicate the presence of helminthic invasion. The attending physician is responsible for decoding the analysis results.
An antibody with a corresponding antigen forms an immune complex capable of binding to the complement system. This is the basis of the RSC (Complement Fixation Reaction) method. If the antigen-antibody complex is not formed, the complement remains free.
RSK is used to diagnose the acute phase of parasitic diseases.
The polymerase chain reaction is a modern and very precise research method. It can be used to diagnose the presence of viruses, bacteria, protozoa in the body, as well as intracellular parasites. Blood and other body fluids are suitable for analysis.
The result of the polymerase chain reaction is the decoded DNA of the parasite. You can accurately determine the type of pathogenic organism. The downside of PCR is that it is impossible to know the number of parasites and the stage of development of the disease.
Parasite testing should be done by each person. Regular check-ups will help you avoid the huge health problems these little creatures cause. The doctor will tell you which method of analysis is better to choose.