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Test Code PCRST Enteric Pathogen PCR

Additional Codes

Epic: LAB12823

Specimen Required

•Cary Blair Transport Medium •Sterile container



Specimen Minimum Volume

•Preferred Specimen: Liquid or Soft stool submitted in Cary Blair Transport Media (add to fill line)
•Other Acceptable Specimen:>1ml Liquid or Soft stool submitted in a Sterile container

Report Available

1-2 Days

Clinical Significance

Interpretation: Detection of a pathogen suggests an infectious cause of diarrhea. However, diarrhea may be caused by a number of pathogens and other factors.
A positive PCR result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable organisms. Positive results do not rule out co-infection with other organisms that are not detected by this test.
This PCR panel does not differentiate between Shigella spp. and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC), which are closely related and may cause similar illness.
It is not recommended for stool pathogen tests to be ordered on inpatients who have been hospitalized for >3 days. Community acquired enteric pathogens are an unlikely cause of new symptoms. If the admitting diagnosis was not gastroenteritis, and no other risk factors exist, the ordering provider should consider alternative causes for diarrhea.


Rule out of additional bacterial pathogens requires notification of the laboratory or additional test ordering prior to sample submission. These organisms may require special growth media and separate orders and may include: Aeromonas, Vibrio, Yersinia, Plesiomonas, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas

Specimen Stability Information

Samples can be stored for up to 48 h at 2-25 °C and up to 5 days at 2-8 °C. However, if not placed immediately into Cary Blair transport media and received within 48 hours of collection, organisms may not be viable for serotyping/additional workup.

Specimen Instructions

Patient should pass stool into a clean, dry, container mounted on the toilet for this purpose. Stool must not touch liquid in the toilet. Submitting sites must add the stool to the fill line on Cary Blair transport media prior to shipping and ASAP.




PCR for Salmonella, Shigella/EIEC, Campylobacter, and Shiga Toxins 1 and 2.



Clinical Reference

Negative for bacterial intestinal pathogens

Method Description

Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the amplification of SpaO, a Campylobacter specific tuf gene sequence, ipaH, stx 1a and stx 2a

Reject Due To

Specimen received on a diaper or scraped from a diaper are unacceptable.
Rejection will occur for the following reasons: improperly labeled specimen, insufficient volume, specimen not submitted in appropriate transport container