Human feces, Africa (ID: 15)

This sample consisted of human fecal matter collected from the African continent. It was imaged on a prepared slide with the foldscope using a Huawei 5X smartphone. The fecal matter smear tended to appear in clumps, resulting in some trouble finding individual cells to examine.

However, by examining the organisms on the edges of the clumps it became a little bit easier to identify silhouettes. One in particular was recognizable as a schistosoma cercaria.

Despite some difficulty getting perfect focus in this sample, the distinct body and tail sections can be recognized. Given the geographic location of where the sample was collected, this could be identified as a schistosoma mansoni.

The scale bar was added by using the foldscope to image a measuring tape that had milliliter increments and then dividing the space between the imaged milliliter lines into ten sections to obtain the 100µm scale bar. I was a bit worried about using this method at first since I wasn’t sure about the microscopic accuracy of a macroscopic measuring tool, but the expected length for a schistosoma mansoni cercaria with tail and body as approximately 200µm which is accurately reflected by the calculated scale bar. This provided additional confidence in the accuracy of this method.

One Comment Add yours

  1. susanneS says:

    Cercariae of schistosomiasis parasites come out of snails, not human poop. Schistosomiasis eggs should be visible in a folds cope if from an infected individual. Eggs are distinctive by their sharp barb. Good luck in exploring the microcosmos! People that find schistosoma in their poop should talk to their doctor or health post.

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