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Test Code C Stool Stool Culture 

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

Stool Culture


Culture, Stool

Enteric Pathogen Culture

Fecal Leukocytes

Stool Leukocytes

Stool WBC

Shiga Toxin PCR


Includes culture for enteric pathogens and gram stain for polymorphonucleocytes. This test is used to test for clearance of stool pathogens following treatment rather than performing rapid PCR testing. Stool samples are cultured for Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, and E. coli O157. Stool samples are also screened for Shiga Toxin producing E. coli (STEC) by EIA. Rectal swabs can not screened for STEC due to low yield. Typically, a single stool specimen is sufficient for the work-up of acute diarrhea. A minimum 3-day interval between samples is recommended. The yield of enteric pathogens from rectal swabs is measurably lower than from stool specimens.


Please refer to Stool Infectious Diarrhea Power Plan for appropriate clinical criteria and other test choices (Rapid Infectious Diarrhea PCR Pnl, Clostridium difficile Ag+ Toxin Reflex PCR, Rotavirus Detection Stool, Stool PCR Qual for Noro, Adeno+Rotavirus, Stool Giardia, Crypto + E histo EIA, Stool Helminth Worm Parasite, and Pinworm Preparation).


All tests in the Stool Infectious Diarrhea Power Plan except for “Stool Helminth Worm Parasite Exam” require fresh stool specimens. Fixed stool specimens collected in e.g. “Alpha TEC ETM” C&S”  or “Para-Pak C&S” can only be used for “Stool Helminth Worm Parasite exam”.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Liquid or unformed stool collected in a clean leak-proof container is the optimal sample type. Rectal swabs are not optimal. In rare situations, exceptions may be made by contacting the Microbiology Lab 7-2585. Swab samples should be inserted at a distance sufficient to have visible stool on the swab (usually requires insertion of swab several centimeters into the rectum). Use the white capped E Swab System for collection. Fixed stool specimens are not accepted for this test.


Container: Clean leak-proof container


Preferred volume: 1 gram or ml


Minimum volume: 0.5 gram or ml

Processing Instructions

CPA: Send sample to Microbiology for processing. If sample is shared and only one tube, syringe or other container is received, affix shared sample label and send entire sample plus requisition to Microbiology.


Off-site collection:  Off-site Children's Lab locations should send to SCH Main Campus for testing. Refrigerate before and during courier transport.


Other off-site locations: Refrigerate sample prior to transport. Sample must be refrigerated during transport. 


Fresh Stool  
Temp Time
Room temp 2 hour
Refrigerated 24 hours
Frozen N



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
Gram Stain 24/7 2 hours
STEC EIA 24/7 24 - 48 hours
Culture 24/7

48 - 72 hours


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes





This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (such as MIC's and ID's)

Reporting Information

Preliminary Report:  24 hours

Negative Final Report: 48 hours


Notifiable Result

The following are notifiable conditions under Wa State law: Campylobacteriosis, Shiga toxin producing E coli, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Vibriosis, and Yersiniosis.


See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA State:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State: