Test Catalog

Test ID: PARID    
Parasite Identification, Varies

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Gross identification of parasites (eg, worms) and arthropods (eg, ticks, bed bugs, lice, mites)


Detecting or eliminating the suspicion of parasitic infection by identifying suspect material passed in stool or found on the body


Supporting the diagnosis of delusional parasitosis


Identifying ticks, including Ixodes species (the vector for Lyme disease)

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

When this test is ordered, 1 of the 2 reflex tests above will be performed and charged based on whether the object is an arthropod or worm. For parasite artifacts and nonhuman parasites, the reflex test performed will be based on whether the object most closely resembles a worm (eg, mucus strands, food material, fibers) or an arthropod (eg, ticks, mites, free-living insects).


See Parasitic Investigation of Stool Specimens Algorithm in Special Instructions.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Infectious diseases are spread and caused by a variety of macroscopic vectors. A wide array of macroscopic parasites (worms and ectoparasites) and parasite mimics or artifacts may be submitted for examination and identification. It is important to promptly and accurately identify these specimens so that the ordering physician can appropriately treat and counsel the patient.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

A descriptive report is provided.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A descriptive report is provided identifying the worm or arthropod. Worms and hard ticks are identified to the species level when possible, while other parasitic arthropods are identified to the genus level.


Arthropods that do not cause human disease and parasite mimics resembling worms are reported as nonparasites or free living insects.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

This test identifies a tick's species, age, sex, and level of engorgement. It does not include analysis of ticks for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Testing ticks for potential pathogens such as B burgdorferi is not recommended since it does not indicate if the organism has been passed to the host during feeding. Instead, morphologic features of the submitted tick including the gender and degree of engorgement are more useful for predicting the risk of B. burgdorferi transmission. Only female ticks transmit B burgdorferi, and they must be attached for 36 hours or more for transmission to occur. The latter is reflected by the degree of tick engorgement. Ticks that are not engorged with blood pose little risk for Lyme disease.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Mathison BA, Pritt BS: Laboratory Identification of Arthropod Ectoparasites. Clin Microbiol Rev 2014;27(1):48-67

Special Instructions Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test