Parasitology

image of parasitology lab equipmentThe Parasitology Laboratory of the UCDVH is staffed by two board-certified Veterinary Parasitologists (European College of Veterinary Pathologists [ECVP]) and highly experienced, qualified technical staff.  It provides a full parasite diagnostic-service capable of diagnosing parasites from domestic and wild animal faeces or tissue samples.  Specialist advice on animal parasitic diseases is given to the agricultural industry and veterinary profession.

The Parasitology Laboratory also participate annually in independent accredited proficiency testing via the VETQAS proficiency testing scheme of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to ensure the delivery of reliable and accurate results.

Parasite Control

Despite the availability of effective drugs, parasites still remain an important health issue for both domestic farm animals and pets.  In fact, the common and often indiscriminate use of anthelmintics has led to the development of anthelmintic resistance, which has become a significant problem in all farm animals.  The old approach of repeated blanket treatment to control parasites is no longer sustainable.  Changing weather patterns, combined with different housing and grazing systems used in Irish farms, necessitate a more tailored parasite control programme.  This would involve regular monitoring of parasite exposure in conjunction with a more strategic treatment approach.

Further information on parasite control can be found on the following websites:

Services Available

The routine parasitology diagnostic tests available include:

  • Qualitative and quantitative (McMaster) centrifugation flotation techniques for nematode eggs and protozoal (oo)cysts
  • Baermann technique for recovery of lungworm larvae
  • Sedimentation technique for recovery of trematode eggs
  • Examination of skin scraping for the identification of external parasites

More specialized services are also available, such as:

  • Parasite identification
  • Nematode larval cultures
  • Antibody detection in serum for Neospora caninum (indirect fluorescent antibody test), Toxoplasma gondii (latex agglutination test) and Angiostrongylus vasorum (IDEXX AngioDetect)
  • Detection of antigens in faecal samples for Giardia and Cryptosporidium
  • Tritrichomonas foetus - culture
  • Faecal egg count reduction tests for the detection of anthelmintic resistance

Diagnosis of Tritrichomonas Foetus in Cats

InPouch test kit is now available at the UCDVH Parasitology Laboratory for the diagnosis of Tritrichomonas Foetus in cats.  See the Tritrichomonas Foetus Information Guide‌ for more details.

Further information on available tests and sample submission can be found in the UCD Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories Catalogue 2018

Contact the Parasitology Laboratory:

Telephone: (01) 716 6168

Email: ucdvetlab@ucd.ie