Taxonomy: f. Plasmodidae
Animal: Plasmodium spp. (research) 1 03.jpg
Sites: Blood
Well made and Giemsa stained thick film. Compare with other Plasmodium spp. (research) slides which have been prepared using different amounts of blood to determine the best method to diagnose the parasite infection. Field's stain is a faster method but is equally as satisfactory to examine for parasites. A well made and stained thick film will have various shades of colour - pinkish-grey-bluish. Ideally, lysis of the red cells should be complete (by using distilled water prior to the Giemsa stain after film is dried) and the nuclei of leucocytes deep purple. The background should be a mottled greyish colour. Schuffner's dots will be seen more at the edge of the film. You must see blue cytoplasm and red chromatin to detemine it is a malarial parasite. If the background is very pale, the parasites will remain unstained and if the background is very dark and too bluish, there will be poor contrast and the parasites won't be visible -- this can occur when the film is too old or thick. Finger prick blood is much preferred - anticoagulants can distort the parasites and also interfer with the stain. (See parasitology textbooks such as Garcia and Bruckner 1997 for details)

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