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Non-Human elements - Plant Elements

Plant elements seen in feces may resemble eggs and cysts of parasites.


Phase Contrast x 400

16 - Plant element - phase contrast x 400

These objects may be mistaken for thin shelled hookworm eggs or decorticated Ascaris eggs.

The irregular contour of the outer membrane and the general appearance should suggest the plant origin of this microscopic finding.

87 - Plant element - phase contrast x 400

15 - Plant material - phase contrast x400

Pollen grains may closely resemble Taenia eggs.

Careful study of the inner mass reveals its lack of typical features of an oncosphere normally seen in Taenia eggs (embryonic hooklets, etc.).

Absence of the radial striation is also a good clue.

13 - Plant material - phase contrast x 400

14 - Plant element - phase contrast x 400

This object could be mistaken for a thin shelled hookworm egg.

The irregular contour of the outer membrane and the lack of the bluntly rounded ends suggest its plant origin.

This artifact could be confused with an unembryonated egg of Diphyllobothrium latum.

Lack of an operculum and the uneveness of the cell wall indicate that this object is of plant origin.

A small knob-like structure is somewhat evident in this picture which could lead to further confusion.

188 - Plant element - D. latum artifact - phase contrast x 400


Trichrome Stain x 1000

These pollen grains stand out due to their golden colour. They do not pick up the stain.

The striated outer wall may lead to confusion with Taenia eggs, but the small size, uneven thickness of the wall and lack of internal contents do not suggest an egg.

52 - Pollen grains - trichrome stain x 1000


Root hairs & other plant elements

These are fuzz from peaches seen frequently in stools.

They can be confused with Strongyloides or other nematode larvae by the inexperienced eye.

The refractile core should not be mistaken for the well differentiated esophagus or intestine of a nematode larva.

4 - Plant hair  - phase contrast x 100
Plant hairs - phase contrast x 100

Although one end of the hair may be tapering and smoothly rounded as a nematode larvae, the other end usually is blunt and irregular a feature not seen in a larval parasite.

Root hairs are usually straight, but when flexed (on the left), can be interpreted as larvae.

The approximate lengths and widths of the hair (250 - 350 mm x 10-15 mm) are consistent with the sizes of Strongyloides and other nematode larvae.
6 - Plant hair
Plant hairs
Phase contrast
x 1000
69 Plant hair

Trichrome Stain x 1000

This artifact could be mistaken for a Giardia trophozoite.

Note the lack of the two anteriorly placed nuclei, the dark stained median body and axonemes.

The long tail-like object is not like the typical flagellum of Giardia. This object appears to be a spore that is germinating.

104 - Spore - light microscopy x 1000

Modified Kinyoun x 1000
49 - Seed - Kinyou stain - x 1000

Seeds may be confused with Cryptosporidium species.

The thick outer-membrane and lack of internal structure suggest plant origin.

61 - Seeds - Kinyoun stain - x 1000


81 - Plant element - Modified Kinyoun stain x 1000 - resembles Cyclospora

Modified Kinyoun Stain x 1000

This plant element resembles Cyclospora.

Note the uneven cell wall, the lack of internal granules and the vacuolated appearance.

The size is also much larger than Cyclospora

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