Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory

26 October 2020: Acanthamoeba PCR 

We are pleased to announce that our Acanthamoeba PCR assay has been added to our UKAS- accredited scope of testing (August 2020).

The Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory (DPL) is a medical laboratory accredited to ISO 15189 and provides a reference facility, offering a wide range of parasitological investigations for enteric parasites, blood parasites and entomology.

We are linked to the Public Health England Malaria Reference Laboratory (MRL). Both laboratories are part of the LSHTM's Teaching & Diagnostic Unit.

We aim to offer a first class diagnostic and reference facility for the diagnosis of parasitic infections. We are also strongly committed to active research into parasites and their diagnosis, and to the provision of training for pathology staffs, other healthcare professionals and those working in the control of infectious diseases.

Strongyloides stercoralis larva

Strongyloides stercoralis larva

Taenia solium scolex

Taenia solium scolex

Plasmodium ovale gametocyte

Plasmodium ovale gametocyte

Acanthamoeba polyphaga cysts

Acanthamoeba polyphaga cysts

MRL and DPL services are offered to all hospitals, Public Health England and NHS laboratories, General Practitioners and private medical laboratories throughout the UK and abroad.  We also offer expertise in the identification of faecal parasites in non-human primates.

Advice on the investigation of malaria and other parasitological diseases is always available; technical teaching sessions can also be arranged for small or large groups.

Please note: this laboratory is unable to deal directly with patients.

Diagnostics and testing services

Please see our user handbook (pdf) for details of our full repertoire of testing and specimen requirements. Please contact us for information regarding charges. (NB The link is to the accessible version of our user handbook. If you would prefer to obtain the handbook in the standard format, please request this from

Blood and Tissue Parasites

Enteric Parasites

Intestinal Helminth and Protozoa screening plus individual tests for:

  • Amoebae
  • Cryptosporidia
  • Cyclospora
  • Cystoisospora
  • Enterobius
  • Echinococcus
  • Giardia
  • Microsporidia
  • Schistosoma
  • Strongyloides
  • Trichinella

Postal test kit for faecal parasites

Physicians can provide our postal kit to patients allowing them to return their specimens directly to the laboratory. The kits are designed to collect both fresh, unfixed material and also fixed material, facilitating the diagnosis of enteric parasites to include Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba fragilis. Reporting of all results is made directly to the physician. Patients can only obtain tests through a physician or other registered health practictioners.

Veterinary parasitology

The laboratory has considerable expertise in the diagnosis of intestinal parasites of primates and provides a service to veterinarians looking after animals both in captivity and the wild.

Acanthamoeba - Ophthalmic - The Acanthamoeba Keratitis Reference Unit offers microscopy and culture and also a new PCR service

Worm identification -  Adult worms, larvae and segments

Entomology* - Insects, ticks, and other arthropods    

*Entomology is undertaken by the LSHTM medical entomologist and this service is not included in our ISO 15189 accredited scope of testing.



The Teaching and Diagnostic Unit (TDU) is responsible for the provision of parasitology, microbiology and entomology practical classes for the Faculty’s Masters and Diploma courses including both the London based and East Africa based Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Diploma in Tropical Nursing.

The Unit runs two successful diagnostic short courses each year: Laboratory Diagnosis of Parasites and Laboratory Diagnosis of Malaria. These attract clinical and biomedical staff from both UK and overseas pathology laboratories.

Senior staff are involved in the Distance Learning program and give lectures in areas of expertise to hospital pathology laboratories and at national and international meetings as well as to in-house students.

Staff in the TDU also give advice and training on a one to one basis to Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists and clinical staff and to LSHTM research staff and MSc students undertaking research projects. 

Training courses can be devised to suit individual needs and may be a simple one day refresher course or a longer attachment to the laboratory as a technical fellow. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Customer satisfaction

We encourage users of our services to provide any suggestions for improvements or feedback. Please contact Dawn Britten, Quality Manager (, or Claire Rogers, Principal BMS and Head of TDU (



ISO 15189 accredited,  UKAS ref 9148
Quality Policy (pdf)
UKAS certificate (pdf)

UKAS Medical logo - white