Glossary Links Lab Manual PDF

Trichuris vulpis


VPTH 603

Fall 2009


General Information

You will need your microscope for every laboratory session and for both lab tests.

Each laboratory comprises 3 parts: Demonstrations, AV material and activities to be done at your bench. Please note that the objectives of the lab are listed at the beginning of each handout. There is a checklist at the end of each unit to aid you in gauging your progress. Attainment of the laboratory objectives, reinforced by the checklists, is the best preparation for the lab quizzes. A web version of this Laboratory handout can be found on the CAL site. If you leave your lab book at home, there is a pdf version of it on the CAL site, so you can print off a copy of the lab.

Bench work: This part of the lab is designed to allow you to run the different diagnostic tests needed to identify parasites, as well as providing an opportunity to study the diagnostic stages of parasites. Some of the slides you will be told to view will come from a Student Slide Box which will be shared by a group of 3 to 4 students. The slide box will be given out in the first lab, be sure you or one of your partners picks it up during the first hour of this lab.

Demonstrations: These are set up as a series of stations (10 - 25) in each MDL (the set-ups are similar, but you are welcome to look at the one in the other lab as well). They consist of gross specimens of the parasites and pathology specimens, microscope slides of the diagnostic stages and histopathology. Because of the limited number of specimens and the large number of students the Demonstrations often take the longest to observe. At the end of each set there will be one station that will be set-up in the same manner as the Lab Quiz questions will be. The purpose of this question is to familiarize you with the form used on the quiz and to let you test yourself on the material you just completed. The answer to this question will be on the reverse side of the demonstration card. Copies of the cards can be found on the CAL web-page.

AV : This portion of the laboratory consists of video and the web sites. The videos are available on the course’s Learn site. The purpose of the web sites is to review the material you have gone over (or will go over) in the lab. The web sites also serve (along with your notes) as the major source of review material for the Laboratory Tests. The relevant web sites can be accessed through the CAL site. The sites covering lab related material are:

Parasitology Lab and Life Cycles

Diagnosis of Veterinary Endoparasitic Infections


The videos cover material from the labs and lectures and in many cases show you the effects of parasites on the animals in field situations. The viewing of the videos is optionaland what you are taught in lecture and lab takes precedent over what might be said in the video.

Fresh or bulk specimens and demonstrations should receive highest priority in budgeting your time as they will not be available outside of the lab.

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Spriocerca lupi


Wear your lab coat (with your name tag) to every laboratory session.

Clean up your area before you leave the lab. Everything you used is to be returned to the proper bucket (on the cart in the back) for cleaning.

Any used fluids (saturated salt with feces, etc.) are to be flushed down the drain.

Return bottles and unused slides and cover slips to the end of the bench.

Store your student slide box in station’s cabinet in an upright position (like a book on a shelf).

Occasionally we will be using live infectious material, when we do so we will let you know. However, it is safer if you treat all the samples as potentially infectious to humans.

Infectious Waste Procedures

Use sharps containers for:

ALL needles and syringes

Broken or unbroken glass/plasticware (including pipettes) that have been in contact with infectious agents; or was used in animal care or treatment. Includes loops, slides and coverslips.

In general, anything that came in contact with feces or blood that may cut or puncture the plastic autoclave bag should be disposed of as a sharp.

Use autoclavable infectious waste bags for:

ALL contaminated (came in contact with blood or feces) items that are not considered sharps. This would include the gloves you wore. Please stack your cups you used to prepare the fecal float next to the autoclave bag and we will place them in the bag later (we autoclave the bags and then pack them into a box for disposal at a per box cost, therefore, the less space the bag takes up, the more bags we can pack into a box).



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Course Policy

Weighting of exams and graded exercises

1st Progressive Exam............22%

1st Lab Practical......................9%

2nd Progressive Exam..........22%

Lab case studies.....................2%

Lab Final.................................14%

Lecture Final..........................31%

Grade adjustments on exams:

 In cases where the student takes exception with the marking of an exam based on content, he or she is invited to submit a written rebuttal along with a copy of the graded question(s) to the Course Director (Dr. Farrell) within one week of the time that exams are returned after grading. These rebuttals will be reviewed by the faculty, and students will be informed in due course of the action taken on their request for grade adjustment. Simple errors in computing total points awarded on exams should be brought to the attention of the Course Director as soon as possible.

Comments on written final exam:

Is it comprehensive? You'll note that lectures 33-46 concentrate on clinical parasitisms from a host-oriented viewpoint. These lectures assume a working knowledge of the life cycles and biologies of the parasites in question gleaned from the first portion of the course. The written final will stress material from these lectures along with material on the protozoa. However, in so doing it will also assume a requisite knowledge of the biologies of the parasites in question. The last 2 laboratories are a review of the parasites you learned about this year presented in a host-oriented manner.  Thus, the final lab exam will be comprehensive, but will concentrate on material on which you haven't been tested (Labs 6-10).

Adjuncts to course material:

Note service: Course faculty generally support the student note service, and individual faculty members may agree to correct drafts of lecture transcripts. However, in extending this courtesy, faculty members do not assume responsibility for the content of the transcripts, and note service notes do not constitute an official record of the course content.

Presentations by non-faculty speakers: Frequently, representatives from the pharmaceutical industry make presentations outside of class time on applications of their products to parasite control, and these presentations may include basic background information on parasite biology or parasitic disease. This material has not necessarily been reviewed or endorsed by the Faculty in Parasitology at Penn, and is not a part of the curriculum of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Web-based Course Resources


1.) Parasites and Parasitic Diseases of Domestic Animals

An online book of text and images.

2.) Parasitology Lab and Life Cycles

This web site incorporates the laboratory handouts, review slides, the cards and images of the specimens that are set out in each lab as demonstrations and a life cycle review site that is intended to reinforce important principles in the diagnosis, epidemiology, pathology, and treatment and control of selected parasites of significance in veterinary medicine.

It also includes a few quizzes and some review questions similar to the ones seen during the lab.

Also a Glossary giving definitions of terms used in the course and in parasitology texts is part of this site. If you wish a term added to the Glossary, just email it to

3.) Diagnosis of Veterinary Endoparasitic Infections: Review of lab and lecture material broken down by host - has a few quizzes, also a good reference for 4th year clinics or veterinary practice.


NOTE: When working on the case studies you will be tempted to use Goggle® to find some answers. Just be aware that there is as much misinformation as good information out there. Try to stick to sites listed above and those run by veterinary schools, governmental agencies, and professional organizations. Some of these links are given on the home page of Diagnosis of Veterinary Endoparasitic Infections under “links of interest”. Also, start with your lab textbook (Foreyt) and other textbooks (Such as Urquhart, et al. or Bowman).


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Copyright © 2006 - University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, All rights reserved.
Faculty: Dr. Thomas Nolan
Students: Molly Church V'09, Diana Knight V'08, Douglas Gilson V'05, Chris Dykhouse V'04, Kimberly Mah V'00

Comments or Questions contact Dr. Tom Nolan at: