Medical Diagnostic Lab Tests For Fungus, Yeast, Candida, And Parasites
Page 2 -- Detailed Information About Individual Labs And The Tests They Offer (This Page)
Sections on this page:
DIAGNOSTICS LABS, TESTS, AND OTHER RESOURCES
IMPORTANT PARASITE TESTING INFORMATION
OUR APOLOGIES TO LABS
PURGED STOOL SAMPLES
STOOL SAMPLE COLLECTION
LINKS MENTIONED ON THESE TWO PAGES
OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST
AAL Reference Laboratories, Inc. (Antibody Assay Laboratories) Santa Ana, CA USA, provides a blood serum antibody test to detect intestinal permeability (Intestinal Permeability Evaluation #2330) and a Candida -specific antibody test #2323 Candida Antibodies (IgG, IgM & IgA) with Candida Immune Complexes (described above). Physicians can call to learn more at (800) 522-2611(US and Canada). Lesser mortals can call on their own dime at (714) 972-9979.
The Biamonte Center for Clinical Nutrition in New York City, offers patient consultation in person and by telephone for Candida and parasitic infections. They use an in-house urine test for members of its program:
"What we look for in your urine basically are three different things. We're going to be testing your pH with an accurate meter. The pH tells us the susceptibility or likelihood of you having active infections. The average pH should be at about 6.4, and as it drops to 5 or below 4 it means the person is more susceptible to having infections living in their body. As the pH goes higher, to 6, 6.5, or even 7, that shows the person is not susceptible to infections, and the infections might have cleared out of the body.
"The next thing we look at is something called indican. Indican is a measurement of the amount of toxicity in your colon and intestines. Indican is produced by food that is putrefying in your intestines, mixing with harmful bacteria, parasites, or yeast, which is then releasing a harmful substance called indole. Indole is absorbed into you blood, and the body then eliminates the indole through your urine as a different substance which is called indican. Indican is what we're measuring in your urine.(Note: see the description of the BioHealth Diagnostics Indican Test #107.) The last thing we look for in your urine is a protein waste product that is given off by parasites and yeast." This last aspect of the urine test is an Organic Acid Test as described above.
BioHealth Diagnostics, San Diego, California USA is an avant-garde whole health diagnostic laboratory offering comprehensive diagnostic services related to intestinal disorders. Five test panels are of interest here:
Blood Test #350 -- Candida DNA and Antibodies Profile
PCR for the direct detection of Candida DNA in the bloodstream, along with Candida antibodies (IgG, IgM, IgA antigen and Immune Complex), differentiates the degree of Candida involvement, thereby assisting to identify appropriate treatment protocols. Especially helpful in diagnosing and treating patients who have a history of chronic Candida problems.
Blood Test #352 -- Parasite Antibodies Profile
The Parasite Antibodies Profile uses serum to assess the presence of IgG + IgM to a group of common parasites, which include: Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm), Blastocystis hominis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia. This test along with the Pathogen Screen, #401 (stool x 5) is essential for ruling in or ruling out both acute and chronic common parasite infections that are involved in a multitude of diseases.
Stool Microbiology Test #401 -- GI Pathogen Screen
The patient provides five stool samples plus one smear taken over a four day period. The tests include examinations for Ova & parasites x 4 plus antigens to Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, bacteria, fungi, and yeast cultures, occult blood and Clostridium difficile colitis toxins A & B.
Mucosal Barrier Function, #304
The Mucosal Barrier Function test uses saliva to assess the presence of IgG, IgM, & IgA to dietary proteins, yeasts, and aerobic and anaerobic bacteria; also assessed is the level of secretory IgA. The dietary proteins are cow’s milk, gliadin (gluten), soy, rice, and corn; the yeasts are Candida albicans, C. krusei, and C. tropicalis; the aerobic bacteria are Escherichia coli, E. enterococcus, and E. lactobacillus; the anaerobic bacteria are Bacteroides fragilis and Clostridium perfringens.
This test provides a view of the intestinal mucosa as a barrier against some common food antigens and pathogens. Clinical conditions that may be assessed include intestinal mucosal immune dysfunction; systemic immune deficiency; autoimmunity; food allergy; “leaky gut”; malabsorption; abnormal ratio of aerobic-to-anaerobic bacteria; and pathogen overgrowth.
This single test may be used for initial diagnosing and follow-up, as well as a primary test for monitoring therapeutic digestive protocols. Indican measures the efficiency of protein digestion and is, therefore, an important marker for further investigation of digestive problems. The indican scale measures the presence of indol, a metabolic byproduct of the action of intestinal bacteria on the amino acid tryptophan. Inefficient digestion of protein is typically a result of one or more of the following: overgrowth of harmful bacteria that feed off of protein before it can be digested; insufficient HCl and/or protease enzymes; hypermotility of the upper bowel; parasitic or fungal infection; and food reactions.
The physician may order test kits by calling 800-570-2000. The test kits can be sent to the physician or directly to patients.
Cerodex Labs a diagnostic lab service of IMMY, offers a variety of specialized diagnostic tests for mycology (the study of fungi). See the listing under OTHER TESTS.
Great Plains Laboratory, Lexana, Kansas USA . "The Great Plains Laboratory is the world leader in organic acid testing and evaluating abnormal levels of yeast and other components that cause symptoms of autism and many other diseases. We also offer other varieties of metabolic tests, such as test of deficiency of the Immune system, urinary peptides, nutritional tests, environmental tests, and many other tests. We offer free phone consultations to patients and doctors to assist in the interpretation of the results of the tests to find the best way to treat the diseases." Dr. William Shaw, Ph.D., the Director of the lab, has received a patent on one unique process, with other patents pending.
A listing of the available tests are here. The primary tests of interest here include:
Organic Acid Test is a urine test that looks for yeast and bacterial metabolites among a spectrum of other diagnostic cues. "The organic acid test evaluates all of the well-defined inborn errors of metabolism that can be detected with this technology (called GC/MS) such as PKU, maple-syrup urine disease, and many others. In addition, we check for many other abnormalities such as vitamin deficiencies and abnormal metabolism of catecholamines, dopamine, and serotonin. We currently quantitate 62 substances, but also evaluate other substances that are not quantitated. Some of the other biochemical abnormalities common in autism include elevated uracil and elevated glutaric acid." The Great Plains Organic Acid Test identifies metabolic imbalances occurring as a result of an intestinal bacterial or yeast infection; such metabolic imbalances can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, etc. Great Plains offers free consultation with a trained nutritional therapist who can recommend supplements specifically targeted to compensate for or correct metabolic imbalances uncovered by this test.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis tests for yeast, bacteria, parasites, pathogens, and various other problems. Panel includes: Parameters for digestion & absorption; Cultures for bacteria; Cultures for yeast; Parasite testing; Sensitivity panels; Inflammatory markers; Stool metabolic markers; Infectious pathogens. Pathogenic bacteria and yeasts are cultured and tested for sensitivity against the standard prescription drugs and a half-dozen or so of the more commonly used herbal remedies.
Test kits are free, and either the patient or medical practitioner can order the kit. A standard lab requisition form accompanies each kit. A medical partitioner’s signature is required on either the requisition form or on a prescription pad. Test results are sent to both the physician and patient, and professional consultation concerning the results is available to either, free of charge. Test kits can be ordered online, or by mail, phone, fax, or e-mail:
The Great Plains Laboratory
11813 West 77th
Lenexa, KS 66214
Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory, Asheville, North Carolina USA. Great Smokies Lab is the most frequently cited lab on the net as being recommended for performing stool analyses to discover fungus, yeast, pathogenic bacteria, and parasites. They have a worldwide presence with locations or cooperating laboratories in many countries -- see this link.
A list of gastrointestinal tests are at this link
The two tests of most interest to this topic are the following:
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis This is a group of 25 tests that includes: Digestive Function Analysis, Microbiology Analysis, Bacteriology Culture, Fecal Fat Analysis, Yeast Culture. Three stool samples are taken, one of which may be purged.
Comprehensive Parasitology Profile uses the most technologically advanced procedures to accurately identify a wide range of protozoal parasites, including amoebae, flagellates, ciliates, coccidia and microsporidia. Specimens are carefully analyzed by highly trained technicians using computer-enhanced video microscopy, new staining procedures, and advanced immunoassay techniques. This high-tech, advanced analysis can detect the presence of intestinal pathogens that other tests often miss.
The other tests are:
Intestinal Permeability Assessment analyzes urine for the clearance of two non-metabolized sugars, lactulose and mannitol. Identifies "leaky gut" and malabsorption.
Lactose Intolerance Breath Test, a simple, non-invasive test, detects lactose intolerance, a condition affecting more than 50 million Americans. Proper detection enables effective treatment of lactose maldigestion and malabsorption to help alleviate chronic symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Bacterial Overgrowth of the Small Intestine Breath Test is a simple, non-invasive test that detects bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, a common condition that often underlies chronic symptoms of maldigestion and malabsorption, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, irregularity, and abdominal pain.
Helicobacter pylori Antibody Assay assays blood for IgG antibodies to H. pylori, the leading cause of peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis, and increased risk of gastric cancer.
Vaginosis Profile is one of the most comprehensive evaluations available. Using a swab of vaginal fluid, it features microscopy for every sort of organism by trained and experienced technicians with an advanced DNA probe for the most common causes of the condition. The rapid, semi-automated DNA probe test definitively identifies clinically significant levels of Candida, Gardnerella, and Trichomonas; detection rates for these organisms can reach levels of 90% and greater in properly transported specimens. The profile also evaluates levels of beneficial flora and yeast, cytosis, leukocytes, and RBCs. A measurement of eosinophils may also be included.
Test kits are free, come with instructions, and can be sent directly to the patient, but they must be ordered by a licensed healthcare provider. They don't make the process easy though. They don't seem to have a requisition form that a patient can hand to a clinician who is unfamiliar with Great Smokies, so the patient has the burden of not only convincing the clinician to order a specialized test, but also of educating the clinician about the lab and the special nature of the tests (why not just use the "same old" lab?). And the clinician has the burden of calling to establish an account, ordering the kits either by phone or online (how many doctors do you think use the Internet?), and figuring out how to acquire the labs "Interpretive Guidelines" for the tests being ordered. Great lab, clumsy practices.
They do, however, offer a referral service to healthcare providers who have registered with them; what constitutes a licensed healthcare provider is dependent upon the laws of the individual states, and can include a broad range of specialties including nutritionists, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc., in addition to medical doctors. The referral service is available to patients through their Client Services organization online, by postal mail, telephone or fax.
Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory
63 Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28801
pH: 1-800-522-4762 (8 AM - 8 PM EST)
Immunosciences Lab., Inc. Beverly Hills, CA USA (also has a UK distributor) "is a diagnostic and research facility that specializes in innovative microbiology and immunology laboratory testing. In addition to providing the highest quality customer satisfaction, our continued mission is to develop esoteric tests and help clinicians in the diagnosis of very complex diseases where the immune system is directly or indirectly involved." Among the 400 tests offered by Immunosciences Lab are the following tests and test panels which are of interest here:
Candida Albicans Antibodies Panel is a blood serum test suite which includes IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies for C. albicans, C. krusei and C. tropicalis, Candida Immune Complex, and Candida Antigen.
Gastrointestinal Evaluation Panel is a blood serum test suite which includes a variety of tests including Candida IgG, Candida Immune Complex, Candida Antigen, Microflora Immune Competency Test, and Parasite Antibody Panel.
Microflora Immune Competency Test is a blood serum test suite which includes IgG and IgM antibody tests for aerobic bacteria (E. Coli, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus), anaerobic bacteria (Bacteroides Fragilis, Clostridium Perfringens), and Candida Albicans.
Parasite Antibodies Panel is a blood serum test suite which includes IgG and IgM antibody tests for Entamoeba Histolytica, Giardia Lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii. Separately available are antibody tests for eight other parasites including Dientamoeba fragilis and Blastocystis.
Jack Tips Do It Yourself Lab Tests from Jack Tips, N.D., Ph.D., CHom., C.C.N, "is known around the world for his groundbreaking work in natural health and natural medicine. For over 30 years, he has promoted the principles of natural health through books, lectures, courses, radio and television programs. He is the author of many books, manuals and courses…." Dr. Tips and the Apple-A-Day Clinic offer telephone consultation to sufferers of Candida and parasitic infections. The page from the Apple-A-Day site lists do-it-yourself lab tests available through them. "When you order a lab test, the lab will either send you an in-home lab kit, or refer you to a local medical lab if blood work is required. After your test, your easy to understand, evaluative lab report is sent directly to you. If you select, you can have a copy sent to Dr. Tips at the Apple-A-Day Clinic in Austin, Texas. the choice is yours--no strings attached!" The tests include:
Leaky Gut (Intestinal Permeability) Analysis
Candida Dysbiosis Urine Test $199.
This is an Organic Acid Test as described above. "The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Test offered through this site measures the byproducts of microbial metabolism excreted in the urine and is particularly useful in detecting the overgrowth of disease producing Candida/fungus, Clostridium, Giardia, and other bacteria and in guiding and monitoring nutritional interventions. Noting the presence of these other microorganisms is important as their presence must also be corrected for a Candida program to be successful.
"Urine vs. Stool? When disease-producing microbes are distributed throughout the large intestine due to chronic infestation, their identification in stool is possible. Stool testing does not reveal the situation in the small intestine, however, and there is increasing evidence that fecal specimens do not mirror the colonic situation(5). As a result, the major limitations of stool testing are its high degree of false negatives and the potential of missing a significant problem. A negative stool specimen may not reflect metabolic byproducts of disease-producing organisms growing in the small intestine, however the Dysbiosis Metabolic Markers Test will."
Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc. Mt. Laurel, New Jersey USA. MD Labs offers DNA/PCR tests for Aspergillus, Candida albicans, and three other fungi as listed in the table. Healthcare professionals may establish an account and will receive startup supplies including test kits and requisition forms. Test requisition forms and instructions are accessible from this link.
Meridian Valley Laboratory, Kent, Washington, USA. MVL concentrates on research and development of specialty tests in Microbiology, Immunoassay, Steroid, Analytical Chemistry and Mineral Tests. Tests of interest here include:
Comprehensive Stool and Digestive Analysis: The CSDA is a battery of nearly two dozen analyses using state-of-the-art technology. One complete assay can give clues to the following problems: Hydrochloric acid insufficiency, Pancreatic enzyme deficiency, Bile deficiency, Food allergy, Intestinal hypermotility, Parasitic infestation, Occult (hidden) blood, Candida overgrowth, Isolation and identification of bacterial flora, Predictive colon cancer index (butyric acid quantitation by gas Chromatography). This test is a comprehensive, multifaceted stool analysis useful in a wide range of clinical problems. It consists of macroscopic and microscopic examinations with staining, chemical assays, parasitology and aerobic cultures. Fecal metals analysis is an optional add-on which measures the stool concentrations of 13 potentially toxic elements including mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic.
Medical professionals may establish an account. Patients of a physician with an established account may order their own tests, for an extra fee. The medical professional's signature is required. Physician consultations are available for $35. Patient calls are turned back to the physician. Test kits are available and can be ordered by mail or fax. A test requisition form, requiring the health professional's signature, can be downloaded from here in pdf version (6 MB) or here in HTML version (probably your better choice.).
Metametrix, Inc., Norcross, Georgia USA. "Metametrix offers a broad range of innovative specialty testing procedures for clinicians, hospitals, clinical laboratories and researchers. Our analyses include profiles of amino acids, organic acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, toxic metals, hormones, and IgG food sensitivities, as well as markers of detoxification function, cardiovascular risk, bone resorption, oxidant stress, and dysbiosis." Tests of interest here include:
The Dysbiosis Metabolic Marker Profile
"measures the byproducts of bacterial and yeast metabolism that are excreted in urine. The Dysbiosis Profile is particularly useful in detecting the presence of pathogenic microbial overgrowth and monitoring therapy." This is an Organic Acid Test as described above.
Digestive and Microbial Stool Profiles include Bacteriology Culture and Sensitivity, Mycology (fungus and yeast) Culture and Sensitivity, and Complete Parasitology.
The clinician or physician is the Center Of The Universe for Metametrix. They need to register and order the test kits, which are sent to them. Consultations are available for the clinician. However with a physician referral form, a patient may receive direct consultation for a fee of $50 per 30 minutes to discuss test results.
Parasitology Center, Inc. (PCI) Tempe, Arizona USA, is a laboratory specializing in the detection and identification of intestinal parasites.
"If you have any one or more of the above symptoms (Section 3 at their link shown above), or if you have reason to believe that you may be an asymptomatic patient by reason of foreign travel, infected household contact, bad meal, etc., you should consider being tested for parasites. While there are many hospital labs, throughout the country that will test for all kinds of pathogens, including parasites, PCI is the only lab that specializes only in parasitology and has by far the best track record and national and international reputation in parasite testing and identification. PCI has a mailable kit for home collection and mailing of fecal samples from anywhere in the world. PCI will also identify separately worm parasites, worm parts, biopsy material, and blood parasites; call for instructions.
"For intestinal parasite testing, call Alpha-Tec Systems to order a PCI kit; feel free to ask questions. The kit's cost is about $17.95 including shipping and the lab charges are $80.00 per test (Contact Alpha-Tec Systems directly for special volume discounts). Each test kit is based on 2 separate fecal samples collected on 2 separate days. A list of Instructions, Requisition Form, addressed mailer, and collecting containers and vials are included. Once received in the lab (US postal, UPS, FED EX, etc.) the specimens are entered into the system, processed using a concentration/sedimentation technique utilizing Protofix and CONSED stain, then screened microscopically for parasites. In addition to parasite test results, the Diagnostic Report will also include a profile of other intestinal organisms, e.g., fungi (including Candida and yeast), cells, particles, undigested foods, occult blood, and crystal bio-tags, among others. Results will be Faxed and mailed to the referring practitioner within 3 days of receipt of sample. See Instructions provided with the kit for additional information."
OTHER PARASITOLOGY LABS AROUND THE WORLD
Also see the list from an Australian web site focusing on parasites for additional specialists and testing labs with expertise in parasitology. The list includes resources in the USA, UK, Australia, and a few other countries.
Blastocystis hominis (B. hominis) & Dientamoeba fragilis (D. fragilis) should be considered pathogens.
The following is an excerpt from the home page of the just-referenced Australian web site:
"Blastocystis hominis (B. hominis) & Dientamoeba fragilis (D. fragilis) are protozoan parasites capable of causing constipation and/or diarrhoea, mushy stools, stomach pain, bloating, chronic fatigue, & weight loss. They have been implicated in some cases of colitis, allergic colitis & bowel inflammation.
"Surveys employing specific stool collection and testing techniques find the rate of infection is up to 50% in the general population of many western countries. Despite these findings, the type of testing necessary to detect these parasites is not routinely used in clinical practice.
"Many people suffer digestive symptoms for years before diagnosis. The symptoms are often wrongly attributed to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)."
Based on the above evidence, you may wish to select a lab that considers both D. fragilis and B. hominis to be pathogens and has appropriate diagnostic tests to detect their presence.
We have made a good-faith effort to be accurate and reasonably comprehensive. But if you feel we haven’t fairly represented your case we would be happy to consider your comments -- send them to custsvcATfungusfocus.com (replace “AT” with the symbol).
Some labs offer the opportunity for the patient to submit purged stool samples. Parasites stick to the bowel wall; purging helps to dislodge parasites, thus increasing the likelihood of lab detection. A strong purgative, like Fleet Phospho-Soda, is taken to induce diarrhea. "Not all laxatives are suitable. The following products are proven not to interfere with test results: Golytely or Nulytely in the US and Canada. Picosulfate in the UK. Picoprep Australia." Quote from the same Australian site. Other products are Colyte, Loso Prep, and Visicol. Additionally, purging may help in the treatment process by reducing the amount of parasites in the bowel, and so may complement anti-parasitic medications -- do the purge the day before taking the medication.
Randomly select small pieces of the last portions of the stool. More parasites reside in the last half of the stool than the first half.
AAL Reference Laboratories (formerly Antibody Assay Laboratories)
Apple-A-Day Clinic (do it yourself tests)
Cerodex Labs, a diagnostic lab service of IMMY, Norman, Oklahoma USA
Immuno-Mycologics, Inc. Norman, Oklahoma USA
Jack Tips (do it yourself tests -- aka Apple-A-Day Clinic)
Parasitology resources in the USA, UK, Australia, and a few other countries.
PARASITOLOGY DRUGS: a university medical school pharmaceutical site
Read lots about the topic of fungus and yeast at DOCTORFUNGUS.