Isolation of Helminth Eggs Using Gasoline as Ether Substitute in Formalin-Ether Concentration Technique

Erylle P Cadiente, Rhubilyn L Landero, Rhea F Suberon, Maria Rheena Flor C Zamora


To diagnose pathologic conditions due to parasitosis, several procedures may be used in order to isolate fecal parasites. These include the simple Direct Fecal Smear (DFS) to the more complex fecal concentration techniques such as Formalin-Ether Concentration Technique (FECT). This study investigates the possibility of using the more readily available gasoline as substitute for ether, which is a highly volatile organic compound, in FECT. Two hundred positive clinical fecal parasitology specimens were pre-examined by DFS and Kato’s technique. The specimens were subjected to FECT as standard vis a vis a modified technique that substituted ether with regular, special, and unleaded gasoline. Samples from both techniques were examined in parallel considering three criteria: viability in the parasitic recovery rate, sample macroscopic clarity rate, and microscopic clarity rate. Both the standard and the modified techniques gave identical results (p>0.05) in terms of viability in the parasitic recovery rate and macroscopic clarity rate. However there is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the microscopic clarity rate using ether, special gasoline and unleaded gasoline when compared to regular gasoline which yielded lower microscopic clarity results. These results indicate that special and unleaded gasoline may be used as a substitute to ether in the isolation of fecal parasites using FECT.

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