Gastrointestinal Profile PCR Stool Test
The Gastrointestinal Profile, Stool, PCR, detect nucleic acids from multiple pathogens in a stool sample to screen for a gastrointestinal infection.
The Gastrointestinal Profile, Stool, PCR detects the following pathogens:
- Adenovirus F 40/41 | Astrovirus
- Campylobacter | Clostridium difficile toxin A/B | Cryptosporidium | Cyclospora cayetanensis
- E coli O157 | Entamoeba histolytica | Enteroaggregative E coli (EAEC)| enteropathogenic E coli (EPAC) | Enterotoxigenic E coli (ETEC) lt/st
- Giardia lamblia
- Norovirus GI/GII
- Plesiomonas shigelloides
- Rotavirus A
- Salmonella | Sapovirus | Shiga-like toxin-producing E coli (STEC) stx1/stx2 | Shigella/enteroinvasive E coli (EIEC)
- Vibrio | Vibrio cholerae
- Yersinia enterocolitica
What is the purpose of this test?
The Gastrointestinal Profile, Stool, PCR is a test that screens for various gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This test is particularly useful when symptoms are severe and persistent, or if there is bloody diarrhea or mucus present in the stool. It is also recommended for those who have traveled outside of the U.S. or consumed contaminated food or drinks. Diarrhea is a serious condition that can lead to death, particularly in children under the age of 5.
What causes gastrointestinal infections?
Gastrointestinal (GI) infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites in contaminated food or fluids. These can be acquired through the consumption of undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk, or untreated water. Infected individuals shed microbes in their feces, which can spread through contaminated surfaces and poor hand hygiene. To prevent the spread of GI infections, people with diarrhea should refrain from preparing food for others, and everyone should practice good hand hygiene after using the bathroom.
One of the causes of GI infections is the growth of Clostridium difficile, which reduces the protective bacteria in the lower intestines. This can happen when broad-spectrum antibiotics are used, suppressing normal flora and the growth of antibiotic-resistant C. difficile. While many viruses, bacteria, and parasites can cause GI infections, there are only a few common ones. A healthcare provider may suspect the cause of the infection based on a person's medical history, recent food and drink intake, or recent travel, but confirmation requires testing.
When should I order a Gastrointestinal Profile, Stool, PCR?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to a gastrointestinal infection. Common signs or symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blood or mucus in loose stools
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