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Description:

The Parasitology x 2 (Px2) test is designed to detect parasitic infections—conditions that are often overlooked because their symptoms resemble those of other diseases.

 

While parasitic infection may be an underlying etiological (causal) factor in several chronic disease processes, doctors often do not consider the potential for parasitic involvement because signs and symptoms of parasitic infection often resemble those of other diseases. Yet, it has been shown that parasite testing is a reasonable approach to the detection of causative agents for chronic gastrointestinal disorders. According to Dr. Hermann R. Bueno of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London, “parasites are the missing diagnosis in the genesis of many chronic health problems, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and endocrine system.”

           

Most Westerners are inclined to believe that a parasitic infection is a rare and exotic occurrence, limited to those who live in and have traveled to the tropics. However, there has been an increase in the incidence of parasitic infections due to contamination of water supplies; increased use of day care centers; increased travel to, and visits from residents of countries where parasitic infections are endemic; household pets; consumption of exotic and uncooked foods; antibiotic use; and increased sexuality.

 

Infection can occur by four different pathways. These routes include contaminated food or water, insect vectors, sexual contact, and passage through the skin and nose. A thorough patient history will help assess the possibility of parasitic infection and the need for appropriate testing to confirm a suspicion. However, a definitive diagnosis can be difficult because the life cycle of some parasites enables them to escape detection through standard tests. Interfering factors such as barium, bismuth, enemas, and antimicrobials such as antibiotics may further complicate detection of parasites in the stool. This is why expedient testing is important when a parasitic infection is suspected.