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Comparison of methods for detection of pinworms in mice and rats


Though pinworm infestation remains common in laboratory rodent colonies, there is little information regarding current practices for pinworm detection and their relative efficacy. The authors surveyed research institutions to find out the prevalence of pinworm infestations and the detection methods they used. They also tested mice and rats from colonies that were known to be infested with Syphacia sp. and compared the following detection methods: perianal tape test, fecal flotation, fecal concentration, cecal content examination, cecal flotation and histological examination. Though the different methods yielded comparable efficacy overall, the authors recommend using more than one type of test to increase detection potential.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Life cycles of Syphacia sp. and A. tetraptera. Syphacia sp. adults reside primarily in the cecum.


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We thank M. Margaret Juliana and Lauretta Gerrity for consultation and manuscript review. Histology services were provided by the Comparative Pathology Laboratory of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Correspondence to Trenton R. Schoeb.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Effler, J., Hickman-Davis, J., Erwin, J. et al. Comparison of methods for detection of pinworms in mice and rats. Lab Anim 37, 210–215 (2008).

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