|Values are valid only on day of printing.|
Diarrhea may be caused by a number of agents (eg, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals) and these agents may result in similar symptoms. A thorough patient history covering symptoms, severity and duration of illness, age, travel history, food consumption, history of recent antibiotic use, and illnesses in the family or other contacts will help the physician categorize the disease and ensure that any special requests are communicated to the laboratory.
Determining whether a bacterial enteric pathogen is the cause of diarrhea
May be helpful in identifying the source of the infectious agent (eg, dairy products, poultry, water, or meat)
The growth of an enteric pathogen identifies the cause of diarrhea.
Stool cultures for enteric pathogens are generally not useful from patients hospitalized for more than 3 days because the yield from specimens from these patients is very low, as is the likelihood of identifying a pathogen that has not been detected previously.
Clostridium difficile, a major cause of nosocomial diarrhea, is not detected by this test (order CDRP / Clostridium difficile Toxin, Molecular Detection, PCR).
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is not detected by this test (Order STXRP / Shiga toxin, Molecular Detection, PCR, Feces).
No growth of pathogens
York MK, Rodrigues-Wong P: Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. Second edition. Washington, DC, ASM Press, 2007, Section 3.8