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Parasitology Quiz


This specimen is from the faeces of a 23 year old woman recently

returned from a holiday in South Africa, where she stayed in a
resort on the shores of a large freshwater lake. Since returning home
to Australia six months ago, she has complained of recurrent
gastrointestinal upset and diarrhoea, although bacterial,
parasitological and even virus investigations presented negative
results. Doses of Flagyl (metronidazole), Combantrin (pyrantel) and
Vermox (mebendazole) have not improved her condition.
1) Identify the parasite indicated (genus and species)
2) Suggest how she may have contracted the infection
3) Suggest why the infection was not detected earlier

1) Schistosoma mansoni
2)Infection by cercaria whilst swimming in fresh water
3) Egg counts are frequently low, eggs are not concentrated by
routine methods, infection does not respond to any of the treatments
listed above

This tissue section is of a nodule removed from the lung of a 65 year

old woman who died as a result of complications arising from lung
cancer. The subject led an active life and travelled extensively
throughout Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

1) Identify the parasite (genus and species)

2) What stage of the parasite is presented here ?
3) Suggest how she may have contracted the infection
4) What is the infective stage for this parasite ?
1) Paragonimus westermani
2) Adult
3) Eating metacercaria in undercooked crustacea
4) Metacercaria

This specimen is a fluid aspirate from a liver cyst discovered upon X-

ray of a 45 year old itinerant farm worker recently migrated from
New Zealand.
1) Identify the parasite indicated (genus and species)

2) Name the normal host(s) of this parasite

3) Does the fluid aspirate (unfixed) pose an infection risk to health

workers (assuming he has no other infections) ?
1) Echinococcus granulosus
2)Normally between definitive caniid hosts and intermediate herbivore
host (eg. dogs and sheep)
3)Although the protoscolices are capable of seeding new cysts, it is
unlikely that health workers are at risk if reasonable safety
procedures are followed

This faecal specimen was recovered from a three-year-old patient

following a course of anthelmintic drugs to clear an infection of
hookworms. Upon examination of the specimen, no sign of hookworm
eggs were apparent, although there were large numbers of the
parasite shown on the microscope provided.
1) Identify the parasite indicated (genus and species)

2) What characteristics led you to your diagnosis ?

3) What stage of the parasite is shown on the microscope ?

4) Is this parasite a potential cause of illness ?

1)Dipylidium caninum
2) Tapeworm eggs enclosed by a membrane
3)Egg "package"4) Yes, although normally mild

This faecal specimen was obtained from a 50 year old man from
Charleville, western Queensland. He reports vague abdominal
discomfort and periodic bouts of nausea. The patient lives in a small
caravan on the outskirts of the town which he shares with a group of
dogs, and he has a reputation as being a "hobo". Health inspectors
report the living conditions as "squalid", with rats and mice prevalent.

1) Identify the parasite presented (genus and species)

2) What stage of the parasite is presented here ?
3) Can this stage be infective to humans ?
4) What is the significance (if any) of the dogs and rodents ?
1)Hymenolepis nana
2) Egg
3) Yes
4) Probably none from the dogs, although the rodents
may play host to this parasite
This specimen was surgically removed from a 45 year old man after
he complained of an inflamed and painful lump on the surface of his
ribs. The subject hails from far north Queensland and has the
reputation around his town of being a "a bit of a bushie", meaning he
lives off the land in the forests. He also hunts wild pigs for food and
1) What is the name given to the infection from which he suffers ?
2) Name two parasites which may cause this affliction
3) Give two means by which he may have contracted theinfection
1) Spargana, Sparganosis
2) D. mansoni & D. proliferum
3)Drinking water containing Cyclops sp. infected by procercoid stage,
eating undercooked flesh (eg. pigs) containing plerocercoid stage
This faecal specimen was brought to your laboratory by a general
practitioner after making several "housecalls". The specimen was not
chilled or formalinised and the doctor estimated that there was an
approximately 10 hour wait between when the specimen was passed
and when you received it. The patient is an elderly woman who
frequently makes the trip to far north Queensland to visit her family.
The doctor reports that she suffers from intermittent diarrhoea.
1) What two parasites might this specimen represent ?
2) Suggest means by which you might be able to ascertain the true
identity of the parasite.
1_Specimen not well preserved - rhabditiform larva of
either Strongyloides stercoralis or some species of hookworm from
eggs hatched (faecal specimen not refrigerated)
2_ If better preserved specimens are present, look for morphology of
buccal capsule (longer in hookworm
larvae), possibly serology

This specimen was recently recovered from the faeces of a four year
old male child with a six month history history of abdominal
discomfort and sleep disturbances.
1) Identify the parasite (genus and species)
2) What is the infective stage for this parasite ?
3) What animal reservoirs have been confirmed to harbour this
parasite ?
4) Where would one normally expect to find this stage of the parasite
in an infected individual ?
1_Enterobius vermicularis 2_Egg 3_ None 4_ On the perianal
This blood smear was recovered from a 54 year old man recently
returned from visiting his family in Fiji. He visited his doctor,
complaining of fever and cold chills, and of a painful lump in his groin.
Upon examination, the doctor observed that his inguinal lymph nodes
were swollen, and that he had a slight hydrocoele (fluid retention) in
the scrotum)
1) Identify the parasite present
2) List the features which helped you identify this parasite
3) How is this parasite transmitted ?
4) Name the clinical condition which may result if the infection is
allowed to continue unchecked
1_ Wuchereria bancrofti
2_ Sheathed, nuclei do not proceed to tip of tail
3_ By the bite of the arthropod vector (mosquito)
4_ Elephantiasis
This faecal specimen was provided by a six year old female child with
persistent abdominal discomfort and intermittent diarrhoea.
1) Identify the parasite indicated on the slide
2) What is the infective stage of this parasite ?
3) Give two media which may carry the infective stage to its host
1_ Giardia
2_ Normally the cyst
3_ Virtually anything faecally contaminated (eg. food and water)

Intestinal Protozoa
The specimen provided is a smear taken from the intestine of a six
month old child suffering from chronic diarrhoea.
1) Identify the parasite shown on the slide
2) What stain has been used to demonstrate this parasite ?
1_ ptosporidium 2_ Acid Fast Stain