Trichuris Trichiura (Whipworm) Infection (Trichuriasis) Workup

Updated: Aug 18, 2023
  • Author: Kwame Donkor, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
  • Print

Laboratory Studies

The following are laboratory studies used in the diagnosis of whipworm infection (trichuriasis):

  • Studies often reveal eosinophilia from ongoing tissue invasion (in contrast to all intestinal helminths except Strongyloides stercoralis).
  • Rarely, studies show anemia.
  • Characteristic eggs on stool smear (oval with transparent bipolar plugs) are visible.
  • Each female produces up to 20,000 eggs per day. (No stool concentration technique is necessary.)
  • The Kato-Katz technique is a method used to quantify egg numbers.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using new sequencing techniques are now available in some laboratories to detect the presence of Trichuris with great sensitivity and specificity.

Imaging Studies

Endoscopy often shows adult worms attached to the bowel mucosa.


Other Tests

Obtain a stool smear for ova and parasites (as above).



No procedures are indicated in the absence of complications. However, endoscopy may be warranted in instances of severe anemia or refractory infection.