Enterobiasis tape test

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A enterobiasis tape test or transparent adhesive tape test (sometimes called a Scotch tape test) refers to a method used for collecting and examining material gathered from regions surrounding the anus. This test is usually used to identify an infection of pinworms by collecting both the worms and eggs.

Pinworms are most active during the night. Female pinworms will move to areas around the anus to deposit eggs during this time. It is for this reason that the test should be done during the morning hours, preferably before the suspected infected person gets out of bed, bathes, or defecates.

The materials needed for the test include a person suspected of being infected, an adhesive such as cellophane tape (not frosted tape), a glass slide for containment, a powerful medical microscope, and a trained professional to read the test. The sticky side of the adhesive is patted on the anus and the perianal regions of the person who is thought to be infected with pinworms. The adhesive is then stuck onto the slide and read under a microscope by a professional, who should easily be able to tell if there is an infection or not. One test is not always enough to successfully diagnose enterobiasis and more than one may have to be done. A repeated test done everyday for three days straight will diagnose enterobiasis over 90% of the time. Mebendazole is usually the preferred treatment for enterobiasis.

The enterobiasis tape tests has many benefits for both the patient and facility performing the test. For the patient, there is relatively no pain, the test is done in a matter of minutes, and it is cheap. For the medical staff, it is an easy test to administer, it is cost-effective, and diagnosis is usually quick. A patient may even take samples at home if they suspect infection as long as they follow the steps to make sure a good sample is taken and preserved for examination at a medical facility.

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