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Threadworm (Enterobius) Investigation

Normally the condition is diagnosed by microscopic detection of the nematode eggs sampled from the perianal area. However, in extremely heavy infestations some worms may be seen on the buttocks and in the stools. Normally the eggs may be sampled by swabbing the perianal skin with a swab moistened with saline, preferably first thing in the morning. The recommended method is to then dip, rotate and squeeze the swab in 3-5ml of sterile saline in a plain universal, The swab can then be discarded and the universal labelled and sent to the laboratory for centrifugation and microscopy. Alternatively, the sellotape slide method may be used, which involves attaching a piece of sellotape over the perianal region overnight. The sellotape is removed and fixed, sticky side down and as smoothly as possible on a glass microscope slide. The slide must be labelled and submitted in a slide carrier box for investigation.

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