Stool Collection - Pathogenic Organisms - Ova and Parasites

Please collect stool specimens using the following guidelines. This will enhance recovery of pathogenic organisms and may eliminate the need for further or repeat testing.

Helpful Hints for Collection:

  • Standard Toilet: Use collection basin provided by the Lab. Avoid urinating in the basin.
  • Potty-Chair: Clean and thoroughly rinse reservoir. Allow to air dry before collection.
  • Diaper: Line diaper with plastic wrap or turn plastic-lined diaper inside out. Secure on child. Many disposable diapers have chemicals that will interfere with testing.

It is important that the stool specimen is NOT contaminated with urine or water. After bowel movement, transfer stool specimen to container provided by the laboratory.

Stool for Ova & Parasites

Note: A fresh-morning specimen is optimal. DO NOT collect more than one (1) specimen per day. Specimens must not be contaminated with urine.

Stool (Fresh, Unpreserved)

  1. Collect a fresh, random stool specimen in a leak-proof container.
  2. Label with patient name (first and last), date and actual time of collection.

Note: Specimen MUST be brought to the laboratory within one (1) hour of collection.

Stool (Preserved)

  1. Stool specimen submitted in the 2 vial Para-Pak fecal transport system (1 formalin vial and 1 Zn-PVA vial).
  2. Use the attached spoon in each vial to obtain specimen from different areas of stool, especially where blood and/or mucus is observed. Fill one vial at a time to avoid switching caps.
  3. Add enough specimen to bring fluid to the fill line on each Para-Pak vial.
  4. Cap and mix vigorously.
  5. Label with patient name (first and last), date and actual time of collection.
  6. Bring to the laboratory. Para-Pak preserved specimens are stable until the out date on vial label.


  1. Avoid recent antibiotics, X-ray contrast material, anti-diarrheal medications, antacids, bismuth or oil instillation.
  2. Wait 10 days to collect a specimen after barium or other preparation given for X-rays.
  3. Wait 5 days after digesting anti-diarrheal or laxative preparations.
  4. Diapers are not acceptable.

Questions? Call 320-255-5999.