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Faeces Culture (Bacteriology)

All diagnostic faecal samples, except single organism screens, are tested for the following organisms; Campylobacter sp., Salmonella sp., E.coli (VTEC) including 0157 and Shigella sp.

Faecal samples submitted from patients that have a foreign travel history will also be examined for Vibrio sp., including Vibrio cholera.

Foodborne outbreak samples submitted through the local environmental health team may have additional culture performed for Staph aureus, Bacillus sp., and Clostridia sp.

Additional screening for Yeast sp., and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) is performed on selected  Immunocompromised patient groups under the guidance of the IPC Team.

General information

Collection container (including preservatives): Collect specimens in appropriate CE marked leak proof containers

Leak proof container Enteric Virus Panel

Specimen type: Faeces

Collection: Specimen may be passed into a clean, dry, disposable bedpan or similar container and transferred into an appropriate CE marked leak proof containers and place in sealed plastic bags.

Specimen transport: If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature

Minimum volume of sample: A liquid specimen of 1-2 mL is sufficient.

1 gram (large pea-size) of solid specimen

Special precautions: The specimen is unsatisfactory if any residual soap, detergent or disinfectant remains in the pan.

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Not applicable

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (working days): 1 day

Turn round time to final result (working days): 2-3 days

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable


(Last reviewed March 21st 2018)