Stool Culture Test
A Stool Culture Test detects the presence of disease causing bacterial organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Enterohemorrhagic E coli in the stool and aid in the diagnosis of Typhoid Fever, Enteric Fever, Bacillary Dysentery, and Salmonella infection.
The Stool Culture Test is used to detect the presence of disease causing bacterial organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, and Enterohemorrhagic E coli in the stool and aid in the diagnosis of Typhoid Fever, Enteric Fever, Bacillary Dysentery, and Salmonella infection. This test is most commonly used to aid in the diagnosis of digestive tract infection when someone is experiencing chronic diarrhea. If culture results warrant, additional susceptibility testing may be performed at no additional cost. Repeat testing on multiple specimens may be necessary for the most accurate identification of bacterial pathogens.
A stool culture may be ordered when someone has signs and symptoms of an infection of the digestive tract, such as:
- Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days and may contain blood and/or mucus
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Nausea, vomiting
Not everyone who has these symptoms will necessarily have testing done or be treated. In people who have healthy immune systems, these infections often resolve with supportive care and without the use of antibiotics. A stool culture is more likely to be ordered when a person:
- Has severe symptoms, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and/or other complications
- Is very young, elderly, or has a weakened immune system; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diarrhea is a global killer. It is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide, killing an estimated 2,195 children a day.
- Has prolonged signs and symptoms and/or infections that do not resolve without treatment
- Has an illness during and following travel outside the U.S., especially to emerging nations; the CDC estimates that 30% to 70% of those who travel outside of the U.S. will get a GI infection.
- Has eaten food or drunk fluids that may have been contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, such as undercooked meat or raw eggs, or the same food that has made others ill
- Is ill and a possible foodborne or waterborne outbreak prompts the medical community to investigate and identify the cause; examples include contaminated produce, contaminated food from a specific restaurant, and/or illness on a cruise ship.
Test includes culture; isolation and identification of Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter, and detection of enterohemorrhagic E coli (EHEC) Shiga toxin by EIA.
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