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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Stool

Test Code(s): STOC / ST

CPT Code(s): 87046, 87045; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Test Description: Test Component:

Includes culture for Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Yersinia.

Methodology: Culture

Clinical Significance: Detection of enteric pathogens in stool. Test for Shiga Toxin for Enterohemorrhagic E. coli test is automatically ordered on all stool culture requests.

Days Performed: Daily, 24 hours.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: Preliminary report: 24 hours. Final report: Negative cultures 72 hours. Reports on specimens from which suspicious colonies are seen may require additional time for completion.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Stool

Patient Preparation: The patient should be cautioned against the use of antacids, barium, bismuth, antidiarrheal medication or oily laxatives prior to the collection of the specimen.

Collection Instructions: Pass stool into a clean, dry bedpan. Do not use toilet paper to collect stool. It may be impregnated with barium salts which may be inhibitory. Transfer stool to Para-Pak Culture & Sensitivity (C&S) kit (orange cap).  Check expiration date on Para-Pak kit prior to transfer. If past expiration, do not use.

If sending fresh stool in a sterile container send minimum of 6 mL of stool.

If sending stool in Para-Pak Culture & Sensitivity (C&S) kit fill to red fill line indicated on vial (~3-4 mL of stool).

Collection Container: Preferred: Para-PakŪ Culture & Sensitivity (C & S) kit (orange cap)
Also Acceptable: Cairy-Blair transport media, Sterile screw cap container

Collection Volume: Preferred: See collection instructions.

Sample Analyzed: Stool

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Microbiology (B4/231) within 2 hours of collection (unpreserved). Specimens collected in Para-Pak Culture and Sensitivity (C&S) kit (orange cap) or Cary-Blair transport media should be transported within 4 days.

Unacceptable Criteria: Specimens on patients hospitalized more than 3 days are not acceptable. LIMIT: One specimen every 24 hours.

Stability: Ambient: Unpreserved: 2 hours; Para-Pak/Cary Blair: up to 4 days
Refrigerated: Para-Pak/Cary Blair: up to 4 days
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:

Negative for Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Yersinia

Additional Information:

Because these agents do not cause hospital acquired infections, specimens on patients who have been hospitalized greater than 3 days will require approval of the Director of Microbiology or Pathology Resident.


See separate entry for Vibrio culture.

E. coli O157:H7 Culture Stool Salmonella Shigella Campylobacter Yersinia Enteric Pathogens

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