Stool Culture

Additional Information:

Epic order code: Lab223

Yersinia sp and Vibrio parahaemolyticus will not be isolated unless specifically requested; these will each be done with an additional charge. These organisms are fastidious and have very specific requirements for growth.

CPT Code(s):

  • 87045, 87046, 87427

Collection Procedure:

It is recommended that two or three stool specimens (collected on separate days) be submitted to increase the probability of isolating a bacterial pathogen.
  • Stool: Specimen should be collected in sterile bedpan, not contaminated with urine, residual soap, or disinfectants. Those portions of stool that contain pus, blood, or mucus should be transferred to a sterile specimen container.
  • Rectal Swab: Pass swab beyond anal sphincter, carefully rotate, and withdraw. Swabbing of lesions of rectal wall or sigmoid colon during proctoscopy or sigmoidoscopy is preferred.
  • Duodenal or Sigmoid Aspirate: Specimen should be collected by a physician trained in this procedure. Stool specimen can be divided for other types of cultures by the laboratory.

Specimen Requirements:

Orange Para-Pak
  • This is the only acceptable collection container.
  • 1 g, 1 mL, or one swab in stool orang Para-Pak.
  • Maintain specimen at room temperature.


Aerobic culture on selective media; detection of EHEC Shiga-like toxins by enzyme immunoassay (EIA)