Biological samples of parasitic infections:
Utilization in research and sourcing

The development of drugs and diagnostic tests for the treatment and detection of parasitic infections requires conducting studies on biological samples obtained from patients infected by parasite.

Here's a brief overview of various infectious diseases caused by parasites and how the service provided by Labtoo contributes to accelerating R&D projects in the pharmaceutical industry.


Are you looking for biological samples from patients with parasite?

What are parasites?

A parasite is an organism that lives by feeding on the resources of another organism, known as the host, to the detriment of the latter. Parasites benefit from this relationship, while the host may suffer damage or discomfort. This parasite-host relationship can be temporary or permanent, and it can have various effects on the health and well-being of the host, ranging from diseases and infections to physiological and behavioral disruptions.

Parasites can belong to different groups of organisms, such as protozoa, worms, insects, or microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi). However, when discussing parasitic infectious diseases, scientists primarily refer to protozoa, helminths (or worms), and ectoparasites.


These are unicellular eukaryotic organisms, originally present in our food, water, and soil, and become harmful once introduced into our bodies.

Depending on the parasitic species, they can develop in the respiratory tract, nervous system, or intestines.

Some well-known parasitic protozoa in humans include Plasmodium, responsible for malaria, Trypanosoma, responsible for sleeping sickness, and Toxoplasma, responsible for toxoplasmosis.


These organisms are multicellular and much larger than protozoa. Often, the host organism ingests the larvae or eggs of these parasites, and it is inside the host's body that they develop into adults and reproduce, mainly in the host's intestines.

Transmission modes vary and can be due to ingestion of contaminated meat or water, insect bites, or direct contact with contaminated soil or animal feces.

This group includes cestodes such as tapeworms, nematodes like roundworms, and annelids such as leeches.


These are organisms that live outside the body of their host and feed on their blood, body fluids, or tissue.

Common ectoparasites in humans include mosquitoes, fleas, mites, lice, or bed bugs.

They can cause a range of health problems in humans, from itching and skin irritations to severe diseases. They can transmit pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, which can cause diseases such as Lyme disease, typhoid fever, and dengue fever.

Example of Parasite Family Symptoms/Diseases transmitted
Plasmodium Protozoa Malaria (fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, etc.)
Entamoeba histolytica Protozoa Amoebiasis (severe diarrhea with blood and mucus, abdominal pain, fever)
Giardia lamblia Protozoa Giardiasis (diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, weight loss)
Trichomonas vaginalis Protozoa Trichomoniasis (often asymptomatic in men, in women: vaginal discharge, itching, pain during intercourse)
Toxoplasma gondii Protozoa Toxoplasmosis (often asymptomatic, but can cause flu-like symptoms, eye problems, congenital malformations)
Schistosoma spp. Helminth Schistosomiasis (fever, abdominal pain, cough, urticaria, pulmonary hypertension)
Sarcoptes scabiei Ectoparasite Scabies (intense itching, skin rash, pustules)


Illustration of different kinds of parasites
Many parasites have the ability to evade their host's immune system in various ways by:

  • Immunomodulation by secreting substances that modulate or suppress the human immune response.

  • Camouflage and mimicry by altering their cell surface to avoid being identified as "foreign bodies" by immune cells.

  • Antigenic variation by alternating the expression of their genes encoding surface proteins, thus preventing an effective immune response,

  • Migration to areas where the immune system has limited access, such as inside cells.
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Explore Labtoo's Service for Your Biological Sample Research

Labtoo assists you in sourcing biological samples from patients with parasites. Our team manages the entire project of transferring biological materials from inception to sample delivery.

  • Feasibility assessment of sample availability or clinical collection from referenced clinical centers
  • Validation of regulatory aspects
  • Establishment of a contractual framework
  • Dispatch of desired samples under appropriate conditions
  • Transfer of associated clinical data
  • Additional analytical and experimental services

Types of available samples


Fresh tissues

Tissue samples, including skin, muscles, and internal organs, are sometimes essential for diagnosing severe or localized parasitic infections. If the pathologist determines that these samples can be used for research purposes, Labtoo is able to organize their preparation and shipment within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

Frozen tissues (OCT and FF)

Similarly to fresh tissue, once the tissues are cleared for research, the clinical site can freeze and keep the frozen tissue samples at -80°C or in liquid nitrogen for ulterior use.

FFPE Tissues

Pathologists typically embed the biopsies and resections in paraffin. FFPE blocks of infected tissues can be used later for research.

Blood derivatives
  • Whole Blood  from patients with parasites
  • PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells)
  • Plasma/Serum 
  • Leukapheresis
  • Urine
  • Stool
  • Respiratory sample
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Other

Typical associated clinical data

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Detection method
    • Symptomatology/Associated disease
    • PCR results
    • Serological results
    • Follow-up treatment
    • Medical Imaging
    • Positivity/Negativity for certain Infections
    • Other Data (upon request)
Samples blood Labtoo 200-1

Our service identifies clinical sites capable of preparing and transferring a sample collection for a specific project.

Contact our team to discuss your project.

Symptoms of parasitic infection

It is challenging to enumerate the symptoms associated with parasitic infections due to the diversity of action mechanisms of different parasites, even within the same taxonomic group. Symptoms are influenced by several factors, including the parasitic species involved, the location of the infection within the host, and the host's health status.

However, certain symptoms are commonly observed in many species of protozoa and helminths, such as fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.

Similarly, it is difficult to establish an exhaustive list of symptoms associated with each species of ectoparasite. Nevertheless, manifestations such as skin itching, skin lesions, anemia, and transmission of other diseases are often reported for most ectoparasite species.


Diagnosis and treatment of parasitic infection

The diagnosis of a parasitic infection involves a multifaceted approach that includes several methods:

A comprehensive clinical assessment

Considering the patient's symptoms, medical history, and potential exposures to parasites.

Laboratory examinations

Involve the analysis of biological samples such as stool, blood, urine, or tissues to detect the presence of parasites, their eggs, larvae, or parasitic antigens.

Imaging examinations

such as X-rays or ultrasounds may sometimes be necessary to assess internal damage caused by parasitic infection.

The treatment of parasitic infections depends on the type of parasite, the severity of the infection, the location of the infestation, and individual patient characteristics. In many cases, parasitic infections can be treated with specific antiparasitic medications targeted to the diagnosed parasite. Antiparasitic drugs act by targeting parasites at different stages of their life cycle, either killing them or rendering them unable to reproduce and cause further harm to the host organism.

Other supportive measures may be recommended to relieve symptoms and promote healing. This may include pain relievers to alleviate pain, antipyretics to reduce fever, antiemetics to reduce nausea and vomiting, etc.

Complications during parasitic infection

Complications of a parasitic infection can vary depending on the type of parasite, the location of the infection, the severity of the infestation, and the individual characteristics of the host. In some cases, parasites can cause direct damage to the tissues and organs of the host organism, leading to complications such as gastrointestinal lesions, internal bleeding, intestinal obstructions, respiratory problems, neurological disorders, liver or kidney damage, and even death in severe cases.

Additionally, parasites can weaken the host's immune system, making it more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. Some parasites can also trigger allergic reactions, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, growth delays in children, and complications during pregnancy.

Complications of parasitic infections can be particularly severe in immunocompromised individuals, children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases.

Labtoo's illustration
Samples blood Labtoo 200-1

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