The presence of parasites in a urine test is useful for the diagnosis of UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) and infection of the male or female genital tract.
The most common parasites seen in a urine test are:
Sometimes, the presence of parasites and ova in the urine is a consequence of fecal or vaginal contamination of the urine specimen.
The test is performed because it may help in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis, an infection of the male or female genital tract.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmitted parasite associated primarily with vaginal inflammation in females and infection of the male urethra and prostate in males.
The test is also useful if the ova of parasite Schistosoma haematobium is detected because it helps to confirm the diagnosis of schistosomiasis, an infection that causes acute and chronic inflammation of the urinary and gastrointestinal tract. For the detection of this parasite, it is better to collect the urine sample in the evening.
To study the presence of parasites in the urine, it is necessary to obtain previously the urinary sediment.
For this matter, the urine sample should be placed at rest for some hours waiting for the different elements of the urine (white and red blood cells, yeast, crystals, etc.) precipitate to the bottom. As this process is very slow, the urine is centrifuged for about 5 minutes at 1500 or 2000 revolutions per second to obtain a sample of the sediment in less time.
The trichomonas has a pear shape with an undulating membrane. The trichomonas is often motile under the microscope and it may be recognized by the flagella that provides its rapid darting movement. When not moving, the trichomonas is more difficult to identify and may resemble a WBC (White Blood Cell), or a RTE (Renal Tubular Epithelial) cell.
Schistosoma eggs are around 60 and 160 micrometers long and are transparent with a prominent lateral spine near the posterior end.
Enterobius vermicularis eggs, under the microscope, have an oval shape with a flat edge. The larvae may be visible inside the egg.
Trichomonas is usually reported as rare, few, moderate, or many per HPF (high-power-field).
If there is a big amount of trichomonas (Trichomonas vaginalis) detected under the microscope, it is usually a sign of trichomoniasis.
The trichomoniasis in females is the underlying cause of:
In males, trichomoniasis is often asymptomatic but they usually transmit the disease to their sexual partners.
If there is Schistosoma haematobium ova in the urine sample it is usually a sign of schistosomiasis.