c. Natural Selection. "Survival of the fittest" is the expression used to describe
the phenomena governing the extinction of some species and the survivability of others.
In the evolutionary schema of life, natural selection plays an important role in the
adaptation of organisms.
d. Lag in Adaptation. Some writers consider parasitism to be a deteriorated
type of existence--a lag in adaptation. Others argue that the success of parasitic
survival should be considered as progress.
Section II. SAFETY AND QUALITY CONTROL IN THE PARASITOLOGY
The fecal specimen may contain parasites and many potentially pathogenic
bacteria and contagious viral agents. Therefore, the manner in which the specimens
are handled and the means employed in the disposal of waste material are of the
utmost importance in order to maintain good health for the laboratory personnel and the
community. In addition to potential sources of infection, the parasitology laboratory has
other dangers such as poisons, toxic chemicals, and flammable fluids. Some of the
chemicals used in parasitology have the added potential danger of polluting the
environment. Therefore, the disposal of these substances is governed by local, state,
and Federal regulations. Every laboratory must have a written document (standing
operating procedures (SOP)) indicating the methodology to be used in ensuring the
workability of the equipment, the correct use of reagents, and the adequate and timely
training of the technicians. Quality control ensures reliability, responsibility, and
reproducibility of results in the laboratory.
1-11. INDIVIDUAL HEALTH HAZARDS
Because most of the parasites that affect man use the oral route as the mode of
infection, care must be taken to avoid ingestion of infective organisms. Direct contact
and inhalation can also transfer the parasites to hosts. Likewise, chemicals used in the
laboratory can be dangerous if they are used unwisely. The guidelines below can make
the laboratory a safer place to work.
a. Eating and Drinking. No food or drink should be allowed in the laboratory.
Food and drink can become contaminated by samples and chemicals.
b. Smoking. Smoking should not be allowed in the laboratory. One, disease
can be spread by smoking. Two, smoking can cause a fire or explosion.
c. Handwashing. You should frequently wash your hands while working in the
laboratory. Frequent handwashes, especially when leaving the laboratory, can help
prevent the spread of parasites.