Trypanosoma – Microscopy and PCR

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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


Unstained blood slides


Slide mailer for unstained slides


EDTA blood

1.0 ml

EDTA blood tube


Lymph node/aspirate, CSF


Sterile container

Trypanosoma PCR

EDTA blood

1.0 ml

EDTA blood tube

Submission and Collection Notes


Please note on the requisition (under other) if the patient has fever, intravascular hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, renal failure or is immunocompromised.


Indicate Country/Region and if the patient is a new immigrant or refugee or returned traveler under ‘Travel’ section of the requisition.

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.

Special Instructions

Place slide mailer in a biohazard bag and seal. Store specimen at room temperature and ship to the PHO laboratory as soon as possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Trypanosoma microscopy is performed Monday to Friday. Turnaround time is up to 2 days after receipt by PHO laboratory.

Trypanosoma PCR is a Referred Out Test. Samples are sent to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology (NRCP) in Montreal.

Turnaround time is up to 42 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Trypanosoma specimens are tested by microscopy using Giemsa-stained thick and thin films.


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

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Updated 20 July 2020