Onchocerca – Nodule – Worm

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Ova and parasites1

Excised nodules or material from nodules


Sterile container

Worm ID

Adult worms


Sterile container

Ova and parasites1

Microfilariae from skin snips4


Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


The suspected organism may be included under the ‘Test Description’.


Please note on the requisition (under other): If the patient has Eosinophilia, HIV, is immunocompromised, has a critical illness or was admitted to ICU, or had a previous parasitic infection.


Indicate Country/Region and if the patient is a new immigrant or refugee or returned traveler under ‘Travel’ section of the requisition. It is imperative that the foreign country be identified.


Skin snips best taken from iliac crest or scapula.

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Place specimen container in a biohazard bag and seal. Store at room temperature and ship to the lab for testing.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Onchocerca testing turnaround time (TAT) is up to 2 days from receipt by the PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Onchocerca microscopy for microfilariae and adult worm are used to complete the identification.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

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Updated 20 July 2020