|Description:||This 1981 photograph depicted a few of the laboratory materials integral in the processing of fecal specimens. Included in this image were test tubes, glass microscope slides with cover slips, cotton-tipped swabs, rubber stoppers, and rubber dropper bulbs.|
Examination of fresh specimens permits the observation of motile trophozoites, but this must be carried out without delay. Liquid (diarrheic) specimens (which are more likely to contain trophozoites) should be examined within 30 minutes of passage (not within 30 minutes of arrival in the laboratory!), and soft specimens (which may contain both trophozoites and cysts) should be examined within one hour of passage. If delays cannot be avoided, the specimen should be preserved to avoid disintegration of the trophozoites. Formed specimens (less likely to contain trophozoites) can be kept for up to one day, with overnight refrigeration if needed, prior to examination.