Old Amish Dewormer

Parasite Primer ... continued

NEMATODES - There are nearly 20,000 species of nematodes. Their ubiquitousness makes "nematology" one of the largest areas of parasite study (parasitology). The photo at left was taken from the web page on the BioScience section of Ohio State devoted to Ascaris lumbricoides (intestinal roundworms), the largest and most common parasite found in humans.
To prevent redundancy, we provide the following links to those who want more information on the nematode class. We will discuss how to identify nematodes at various stages in stool samples in a moment.

Looking for 'spiders' and 'cotton balls'
What To Look For
The specimen above was shot at 200X. Medical doctors are trained to look for eggs when nematode infectation, particularly with common types such as intestinal worms (i.e. ascaris). Those without any training are most likely to focus on adults, because these are easiest to stop as an anomoly. Although people who use Dewormer will frequently find adult parasites in the stool sample - the most commonly found specimens are eggs and intermediate stages in the reproductive cycle.
Incredibly common are small groupings of nematodes that look like little pieces of white bread that have been rolled up -- off-white, puffy or spongy in appearance, and thread-like on close inspection.
Looking for 'spiders' and 'cotton balls'
Reproductive Systems
At 200X you can bring out details in a specimen that cannot be seen with the naked eye or lower levels of magnification. In the photo above, the reproductive system of a fluke is made clearly visible. Many times parasites look like nothing more than a glob. If you can magnify them enough and search for a large glob, sometimes you can find the reproductive system. In this picture, the eggs were washed off and at 200X, at which point it was obvious that the specimen was a parasite. Parasites only have one goal, making babies in YOUR body!

By Their Eggs Ye
Shall Know Them
Above: In actuality, without genetic testing you can't identify the species of parasite from a sampling of eggs taken from a stool sample, but you can sure identify their presence. The sample above, taken at 200X was a young woman. Interestingly, parasites reproduce in many different ways. Some lay egg masses; some divide and break off; some lay strings of eggs similar to frogs or other amphibians. Some stay attached until mature enough to swim away. Parasites have many stages before reaching adulthood -- each stage has its own characteristics and the organism manifests a different morphology. (Click picture above to enlarge.)

... a multitude of eggs
A Sea of
Unhatched Eggs

The picture above was taken within days after a customer began using Dewormer. Identification could be tough in this situation. How many of these eggs would yield pathogenic trematodes or nematodes? Does it really matter? The point is ... they didn't belong inside this person -- and now they've been expelled. [Click to enlarge.]

Watch for 'cotton balls'
Spiders & Cotton Balls
Two structures you want to watch for are "spiders" - more common with trematodes, but clearly indicative of parasites. The other structure is "cotton balls," or what some appear to be fluffy, rolled up pieces of fur. If you've ever taken white bread to the park to feed ducks, you know what the bread looks like on the surface of the pond water. There is no food you can eat that will yield this low-density kind of structure in the stool.

More 'cotton balls'
More 'Cotton Balls'
Most physicians would miss this because it doesn't take on either the gross adult structure of ascaris lumbricoides you see at top of this page, or the huge egg cluster they are trained to spot when the nematodes themselves have moved well beyond their asymptomatic stages of activity in the host. But a really good colon hydrotherapist would never miss it.
The first bowel movement in the morning following a thoroughly hydrotherapy session is usually quite watery. That is usually when these puppies usually make their grand entrance.

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