What's inside a poop?

In PLoS One, the delightfully titled "In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit" explains, in-depth, how many hookworm eggs you can expect to find in your average infectious turd:

An accurate diagnosis of helminth infection is important to improve patient management. However, there is considerable intra- and inter-specimen variation of helminth egg counts in human feces. Homogenization of stool samples has been suggested to improve diagnostic accuracy, but there are no detailed investigations. Rapid disintegration of hookworm eggs constitutes another problem in epidemiological surveys. We studied the spatial distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and hookworm eggs in stool samples, the effect of homogenization, and determined egg counts over time in stool samples stored under different conditions.

An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool (via JWZ)


  1. This is sooo weird.  This morning, I was thinking about stool samples, wondering if there’s a standard protocol for selecting where (outside layer, inside, halfway, a third in, etc) in the sample one selects the actual tiny piece that is measured, where the egg/worm/cell density is counted, and so on.

    While scanning the link, it occured to me that the lab technicians can probably identify the ‘front’ and ‘back’ of a sample at a glance.  Ah, the skills you pick up at work…

    /…”Paging Dr. Jack Hodgins”

  2.  For some reason I really got into this also with 5 tabs open reading definitions. I am not even sure if I learned anything other than don’t go to the tropics. LoL

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