Cyclosporiasis Outbreak in the US! Lab Diagnosis & Telediagnosis

August 9, 20130 comments

In the wake of recent multi-state cyclosporiasis outbreak in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has been receiving several inquiries about laboratory diagnosis of cyclosporiasis.  CDC encourages laboratories to obtain rapid confirmation of cases using telediagnosis. Images may be captured from modified acid-fast stained smears or from wet mounts examined by UV fluorescence microscopy and sent to CDC for confirmatory diagnosis.

Instructions on how to consult with CDC via telediagnosis is available here.

Also, CDC has sent out the following recommendations for diagnosing cyclosporiasis:

Specimens collected prior to treatment should be refrigerated and sent to the diagnostic laboratory as rapidly as possible. If it is not possible to send the specimen to the laboratory promptly, it should be preserved. Ideally, because a range of tests might be desired, each of which has different requirements of the specimen, the latter should be split in portions which should be respectively:

  • For microscopy, specimens fixed in 10% formalin are suitable. Specimens should be concentrated for UV microscopy and for preparation of stained smears.
  •  For molecular diagnosis, fresh or frozen specimens without fixative or in Zn-PVA are suitable.

Note: Specimens fixed in 2.5% potassium dichromate will be also useful for molecular diagnosis and if needed for biological studies. 

For diagnostic identification of Cyclospora in stool samples, the Cyclospora chapter of the DPDx web site would be a very valuable and helpful resource. It is available here.

For any additional assistance or questions, please email DPDx at and for further additional information about molecular identification of Cyclospora, such as clarifications in protocols and troubleshooting—please contact the following CDC points of contact indicated below: Alexandre J. da Silva: | Patricia Wilkins:

Source & Image courtesy: Laboratory Diagnosis of Cyclosporiasis; DPDx Email distribution dated 08Aug13 & benchaids
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