Why is PCR screening for parasites better than traditional methods like ova & parasite testing?

Why is PCR screening for parasites better than traditional methods like ova & parasite testing?


3 minute read

PCR screening for parasites offers several advantages over traditional methods:
  • What is ova & parasite testing via microscopy? Ova & parasite (O&P) testing via microscopy involves examining a pet's fecal sample under a microscope to detect the eggs (ova) or the actual parasites (parasites themselves) present in the sample. This method is over 100 years old and for most parasites, it only indirectly detects parasite eggs, not the parasites themselves. This means that the parasites must reach sexual maturity and be present in numbers sufficient to create enough eggs for detection. Some parasites, like whipworms, do not continuously produce eggs so vets often recommend repeated tests a few weeks apart in order to declare a pet as negative for intestinal parasites.
  • What is antigen testing for parasites? Antigen testing looks for specific proteins produced by parasites in a pet's body. These tests detect the presence of parasites indirectly by identifying these proteins. This is more accurate that traditional O&P testing because we are looking for the parasites themselves and their eggs. The problem with this method is that there are only antigen tests available for a limited number of parasites.
  • How does PCR screening for parasites differ? PCR directly detects the DNA or RNA of parasites, making it highly specific. It can identify even small quantities of genetic material from a wide range of parasites. Our Spectra PCR: Parasite Screen detects 20 of the most common and critical parasites in dogs and cats - making it far more comprehensive than any other method of testing! In addition, it provides critical information about drug resistance markers and zoonotic potential.
  • Why is PCR more accurate? PCR's specificity reduces the risk of false negatives or positives that can occur with other methods. It can pinpoint the exact parasite species, allowing for targeted treatment.
  • Is PCR screening faster than traditional methods? PCR screening often provides faster results, enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment. This is crucial for managing and preventing the spread of parasitic infections.
  • Can PCR screening detect a broader range of parasites? Yes, PCR can identify a wide variety of parasites, including those that may be missed by traditional methods. This comprehensive approach aids in accurate diagnosis.
  • Are PCR tests minimally invasive for pets? Yes, PCR testing usually requires a small sample, such as feces or blood, which is less stressful for pets compared to more invasive procedures.
  • Can PCR be used for routine parasite screening? Yes, PCR can be employed for both diagnostic and routine screening purposes. It's a versatile tool that can detect parasites early, even before symptoms appear.
  • Is PCR screening more expensive? While PCR testing may have a higher upfront cost, its accuracy and ability to detect a wide range of parasites can be cost-effective by preventing unnecessary treatments and complications associated with misdiagnosis.
In summary, PCR screening for parasites is a superior method due to its accuracy, speed, and ability to detect a broader range of parasites compared to traditional ova & parasite or antigen testing. It provides peace of mind and ensures your pet receives the most effective treatment when needed.

Fecal Parasite PCR Panel Collection Kit for Dogs & Cats

Fecal Parasite PCR Panel Collection Kit for Dogs & Cats

$10.00

Introducing the Kedi Labs Fecal Parasite PCR Panel, a revolutionary diagnostic tool designed for both dogs and cats. This advanced test uses cutting-edge PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology to accurately detect a wide array of intestinal parasites, which are often… read more

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