Parasites and then some

in STEMGeeks3 months ago

         Lab work can be monotonous and boring day to day. When interesting cases show up, they tend to show up around the same time. There were several notable lab results recently.

         I have two pictures of parasites in this post. I'm not sure if I could find enough words to describe them. Nevertheless, one is relatively rare to see in the US. The other is not an uncommon occurrence.

         At first glance, it might seem like a white blood cell. In reality, it is a gametocyte of a malarial parasite. Premelinery results suggested it could be P. ovale. Gametocytes are rare sights in my experience because malaria is not endemic in my country. Of course, I did not look back into this patient's profile to see if we were correct.

         The other night, we had several patients who were positive for Trichomonas. My colleagues and I often joke and call them an "orgy of Trichs" based on their sexually transmitted nature. It's not uncommon to see these parasites. They provided educational opportunities for our newer employees.

         You can read more about these parasites on CDC's website.

         In other news, I recently learned that when I cover someone's shift as a callback, the premium is 150%, or 2.5x the base pay. A callback happens when the person covering was given less than 24 hours before being notified to come in. I suppose that makes it a bit more reasonable. I was under the impression that I would only be given a 50% premium for dealing with the inconvenience.

         There was another thing I felt was interesting, but I will hold off on writing about it until I learn more about it. It's a close cousin to a common, but potentially deadly, pathogen.

         Stay tuned.

Posted with STEMGeeks


The only time I actually see malaria on smears is for external quality assurance checks sent by samples from the national lab, so far. Never saw orgy of trich pattern, just in singles minding their own business. Gratz on that 2.5x increase, do those short notices happen often?

 3 months ago 

Thankfully, short notices aren’t often. Usually, I get them once or twice a year.

Of course it was infected outside from the US

 3 months ago 

The only places you could legitimately get malaria in the US are in its outer territories.


Meh, throw some tonic water with quinine on it and call it a day.

 3 months ago 

I tend to use highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol for disinfecting surfaces in the lab.

Wait, I thought you guys...

 3 months ago 

Those are classified.

Very good observation, realized that a gametocyte of a malarial parasite looks like this. very good

 3 months ago 

P. falciparum’s looks different.

As I mentioned before, these things are out of my range of knowledge but interesting. The rare one you found is interesting, going to have to look at gametocytes and learn because it's sparked my curiosity.

I'm wondering if you've ever heard of bacteriophage and if so, do you know anything about it?

 3 months ago 

Bacteriophages can’t be seen with light microscope.

Ah, so not something you work with? I don't really know anything about the type of work you do. Back in 2019, a friend had mentioned bacteriophage to me and it's something I've been looking into for some time (in my limited capacity).

 3 months ago 

They are viruses that infect bacteria.

Yes, I've seen that. I've also recently seen that they've been used in attempting to deal with biofilms (something a different friend explained to me several years ago).

Is it purple because of the dye? What technique do you use to differentiate them? hugs friend!

 2 months ago 

Yes. You just pick them out based on appearances.

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