Parasitology

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Dr. John Schaefer working with his team

While the situation with COVID-19 remains fluid, our diagnostic laboratory services and courier service continue operation and are striving to maintain routine business hours of operation to meet your needs and those of your patients. However, due to limited depth of staffing and health concerns, some laboratories are adjusting schedules on a day-to-day basis. We encourage you to call prior to submitting samples. We will do our best to meet your needs and those of your patients. Please stay safe and well during this crisis.

Announcements

Haemaphysalis longicornis (Asian longhorned tick) identified for first time in TN
The invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) has been identified for the first time in Tennessee. A dog from Union county and cattle from Knox and Roane counties were found to harbor the parasites. Haemaphysalis longicornis is a known vector of significant human and animal pathogens in its home range, but its significance as a vector of disease in the United States requires further investigation. The tick feeds on a wide variety of hosts including humans and many other domestic and wild animals and can expand its population rapidly and establish an infestation parthenogenetically. Ticks were noted by UTCVM pathologists and identified by the parasitology section of the UTCVM diagnostic laboratory, Dr. Rebecca Trout-Fryxell (UTIA medical and veterinary entomologist) and confirmed by the NVSL. Monitoring efforts by UTIA, UTCVM, TWRA and the USDA are ongoing to evaluate the extent of the tick’s range in Tennessee. Ticks may be submitted to the UTCVM diagnostic laboratory for parasite external identification by the parasitology section.
Please visit the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for further details on Haemaphysalis longicornis. Additional resources can be found at the UT Institute of Agriculture.


The College of Veterinary Medicine has begun much-needed building renovations. Consequently, our parasitology laboratory is experiencing intermittent disruptions in services and phone access. We appreciate your understanding and patience while we navigate these challenges. Please email parasitology@utk.edu for non-urgent requests and consultations.


We are excited to announce a new diagnostic tool for Toxoplasma gondii antibody detection! The Parasitology Lab at UTCVM is the only diagnostic lab in the world that has validated this novel technique for domestic and exotic canines and felines, primates, macropods, and otters. This competitive enzyme-linked fluorescence assay (ELFA) will replace the current Modified Agglutination Test (MAT) September 1, 2017.

Download a flyer about this New Toxoplasma serologic test .


Services Provided

The UTCVM Parasitology Laboratory provides several test panels to provide better service and to our clients and their patients while keeping costs reasonable. Below is more information about our fecal and heartworm panels so that you can choose your test wisely.

Parasitology Submission Form

Fecal Testing

  • The small animal fecal panels broaden the spectrum of detection for intestinal parasites. Please see the download for a detailed reference. Fecal Testing
  1. Fecal Panel (Zinc and sugar flotation) Routine – This replaces the separate centrifugal “sugar float” and “zinc float” tests. By incorporating both techniques this panel detects all parasite eggs, oocysts, cysts, and larvae that are successfully concentrated using different densities (e.g., SUGAR for Cryptosporidium oocysts, nematode [esp.Trichuris], and tapeworm eggs; ZINC SULFATE for Giardia cysts, fluke eggs and lungworm larvae). As always, the largest reasonable sample that can be submitted (a handful or so) will increase the chance of our successful detection of parasites in your patient.
  2. Giardia Panel w/Sugar Flotation– The Giardia panel now include both zinc and sugar flotations. This will improve the spectrum of parasites that can be detected as noted above, as coinfections or alternate infections are sometimes detected in animals suspected of having giardiasis.


Heartworm Testing

  • Comprehensive heartworm panels improve the sensitivity of heartworm testing with an additional Knott’s test evaluation for the presence of microfilariae. This standard is endorsed by the American Heartworm Society and Companion Animal Parasite Council and provides enhanced quality care for your patients. Heartworm Testing .

Heartworm Panels: Canine and Feline – Routine and Diagnostic

  • Heartworm Dirochek™ and Knott’s (antigen and microfilariae)
  • Heartworm Idexx SNAP™ and Knott’s (antigen and microfilariae)
  • Heartworm Idexx 4Dx Plus SNAP™ and Knott’s (antigen, microfilariae, and antibodies to Borrelia, Anaplasma phagocytophilum/ A.platys, Ehrlichia canis/ E.ewingii)
  • Canine Heartworm Verification Panel. Confirmation testing for suspect infections or to evaluate previous positive antigen test. This unique panel is only available from our lab. This includes antigen tests (Dirochek™, Idexx SNAP™ and/or Idexx 4Dx Plus SNAP™) and a Knott’s exam.
  • Feline Heartworm Panel This test includes an antigen (Dirochek™) and antibody test.


Contact Information

Telephone Numbers and Email

Hours

  • 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM (EST)
  • Monday – Friday

Shipping Address

  • UTCVM Parasitology Laboratory
  • Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
  • 2407 River Drive, Room A233
  • Knoxville, TN 37996-4543