Toxoplasma – 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.

Testing Indications

Prior to collection, contact the Public Health Laboratory at (416) 235-6556 or toll free 1 (877) 604-4567.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Toxoplasma Microscopy

Biopsy material, tissue, lymph node aspirate

2 ml

Sterile container

Toxoplasma PCR3

Amniotic fluid

1 ml

Sterile container

Toxoplasma PCR3

EDTA Blood

4 ml


Toxoplasma PCR3

Bronchial Alveolar Lavage (BAL)

10 ml

Sterile container

Toxoplasma PCR3


1 ml

Sterile container

Toxoplasma PCR3

Pleural fluid

1 ml

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


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.


PHO laboratory refers samples for Toxoplasma PCR to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology (NRCP) - Room E03-5375, 1001 Décarie Blvd., Montreal, QC H4A 3J1.

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 specimen container in a biohazard bag and seal. Ship to PHO laboratory ASAP.

Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs. Specimens must not be frozen.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Toxoplasma Microscopy testing is performed Monday to Friday. Turn-around time is up to 3 days from receipt by the PHO laboratory.

Samples for Toxoplasma PCR are shipped to NRCP Monday to Thursday.

Test Methods

Toxoplasma – Microscopy samples are examined by microscopy, using Giemsa-stained films.

Toxoplasma – PCR sample are tested by Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA from T. gondii parasites present in body fluid.


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

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Laboratory Services

Updated 17 Feb 2022