This is a microfilariae or parasitic roundworm of Wuchereria bancrofti. Spread by mosquitos it infects the lymphatic system and can ultimately lead to elephantiasis.
We went on a NEQAS parasitology course at Birmingham University to help us in identifying the different types and soecies of parasitic infections, mainly malaria, that we might see in people's blood films.
Obviously, they're all pretty prevalent in Shropshire...........
I think that's the point really though. We see positives so rarely that it's useful to have a look at some and be able to identify them. Whilst the type of malaria is determined by the life cycle changes, microfilariae are differentiated by the way the nuclear material is distributed through their body or, more specifically, their tails -this is not the greatest illustration.
I do find these useful (I was chuffed by how many I actually got right) and it was a pleasant surprise to bump into Kate again too.