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Fecal Flotation Test

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A fecal floatation is a laboratory method of collecting parasite eggs from fecal material so they can be identified under the microscope.

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A gram of fecal material is mixed with a concentrated salt solution, topped with a cover slip, and left to sit for fifteen minutes. During this period, the fecal material sinks to the bottom of the container while the parasite eggs, which are less dense than the salt solution, float to the top and stick to the cover slip.  After 15 minutes, the cover slip is gently removed and placed on a slide.  The slide is then examined under the microscope and any parasite eggs are identified.  Parasites that can be identified using this laboratory technique include: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, giardia, and rarely tapeworms.