All samples are tested for:
Salmonella/ Shigella/ Campylobacter/ E. coli O157/ Giardia and Cryptosporidium. In addition:
Please give details of any foreign travel.
Please indicate if any of the following are suspected:
Please give details if there has been any recent consumption of seafood or contact with salt-water (e.g. Swimming.)
Please state if sample is being sent as part of an outbreak – if yes please give outbreak number
Please state if this is a clearance test ( e.g previous positive E.coli O157 etc.)
Please ensure that stool sample pots are filled between 1/3 to 1/2 full. This is sufficient sample volume for all stool tests. Under-filling or over-filling stool sample pots may lead to samples being unsuitable for analysis.
Samples from inpatients will NOT be cultured if they have been in hospital for >3 days, unless bacterial gastroenteritis is suspected (please state in request.)
1. DO NOT mix urine with the stool. If you need to pass water, do so first.
2. Place a wide mouth container (potty, empty plastic food container e.g. 1 litre ice cream carton) in the bowl, or put clean newspaper or plastic wrap over the toilet seat opening (this prevents the faecal specimen from falling into the toilet bowl. (Collection container does not have to be sterile, but must be clean).
3. Pass stool onto the potty, plastic container, newspaper or plastic wrap.
4. Using the spoon built into the lid of the collection tube (or the wooden sticks, if supplied), place small scoopfuls of stool from areas which appear bloody, slimy or watery into the tube. DO NOT OVERFILL. Try not to spill stool on the outside of the tube.
5. Replace the collection tube lid and screw on tightly.
6. Dispose of remaining stools in your potty, plastic container or newspaper down the toilet. Clean potty with soapy water. Wrap plastic container, newspaper or plastic wrap in newspaper and dispose of in normal refuse in a plastic bag.
7. Label the collection tube with your name, date of birth, and the date of collection.
8. Place the container in the plastic bag attached to the specimen request form.
9. Wash your hands thoroughly in hot running water with soap.
10. Deliver to the surgery/laboratory as soon as possible.
11. If specimen cannot be delivered immediately, refrigerate in surgery fridge until delivery.
Primary testing performed locally at RD&E.
Positive samples/cultures may be sent to UKHSA for epidemiological typing/confirmation.
48 -72 hours for negatives/ provisional positives. Confirmation of positives may take longer than this.
Stool Culture – Lab Tests Online UK
Gastrointestinal infections: guidance, data and analysis – UKHSA
Gastrointestinal bacteria reference unit (GBRU), UKHSA Colindale
Specimen Labelling Procedure