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Some undesirable traps which can mislead the pathologist
  1. Victor Mercier1,
  2. Milène Sasso1,
  3. Pascal Kouyoumdjian2,
  4. Damien Sizaret3,
  5. Simon Benzimra4,
  6. Samia Gonzalez5,
  7. Guillaume Desoubeaux6
  1. 1 CNRS, Université Montpellier - IRD, Nîmes, France
  2. 2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nîmes and Montpellier University, Montpellier, France
  3. 3 Department of Pathology, CHU Trousseau, Tours, France
  4. 4 Laboratoire Biolab 33, Bordeaux, France
  5. 5 Département de Biopathologie, Hôpital Caremeau, Nîmes, France
  6. 6 Parasitologie-Mycologie-Médecine tropicale, CHRU Bretonneau, Tours, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Victor Mercier, IRD, Nîmes 30029, France; victor.mercier{at}


In clinical laboratories, the diagnosis of parasite diseases can sometimes be challenging for non-expert microbiologists. Indeed, in spite of the advent of the molecular biology, macroscopic and microscopic examinations still remain essential. Nonetheless, it is usually not automated and requires great skills to complete the correct diagnosis. It is not infrequent that inert elements mislead to erroneous diagnoses. Through three different concrete examples, this article aims at underscoring the actual risk of parasite misidentification and at highlighting the systematic approach to be conducted in order to enable reliable diagnosis.

  • pathology department
  • hospital
  • parasites
  • morphological and microscopic findings
  • anatomy

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  • Handling editor Tony Mazzulli.

  • Contributors VM and GD were involved in writing and concept. MS was involved in reviewing. DS, MS, PK and SG were involved in reviewing and diagnosis.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.