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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Sites requesting testing must have approval from the appropriate state or local health department before submitting specimens. Approval must be sent to NPHL by email at or by calling (402) 559-9444.

A Special Microbiology Form must accompany the specimens. Some tests require additional forms and patient history. This will be listed below when applicable. When requested, testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406 for further clarification.


  Test: Stool Culture for Enteric Pathogens, STOCU 
  Synonym: Enteric Pathogens Culture, Routine Stool, Feces Culture 
  Method: Standard culture for Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter and qualitative Enzyme Immunoassay for Shiga-like toxin (Hemorrhagic E. coli
  Availability: Daily, final report at 2 days for negatives. Positives are reported as soon as detected. 
  Specimen: Stool 
  Collection Device: Stool container or enteric transport media e.g., Cary-Blair media 
  Volume: 1 - 5 mL fresh stool or 10.0 mL stool in transport media 
  Storage/Transport: Transport stool unpreserved at room temperature. If transport delayed > 2 hours, preserve stool in transport media (Category B shipment). 
  Unacceptable: Non-sterile or leaking container, multiple specimens (more than 1 in a 24 hour period), dry specimen, delayed transport to lab without use of appropriate preservative, specimen in diapers. 
  Specimen Stability: Fresh stools stable at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Preserved stool in transport media stable at room temperature for up to 48 hours, refrigerated for up to 4 days, and frozen for up to 1 week. 
  Reference Interval: Negative for Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter and Shiga-like toxin 
  Reportable Disease: Positive result for Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter, or Shiga-like toxin is reportable. 
  Comments: A routine stool culture should be ordered for the primary diagnosis of an enteric bacterial pathogen.

The Shiga-like toxin EIA portion of this test will identify the presence of shigatoxin-positive E. coli in stool; however, it cannot determine the specific strain of E. coli (e.g. E. coli O157:H7).

The Shiga-like toxin EIA (SHIGA) test can be ordered as a single test in cases for proof-of-cure testing following a primary diagnosis of enterohemorrhagic E.coli-caused infection in an outbreak OR where a screen for the primary detection of a Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli is requested.

All shigatoxin positive stools (preserved in enteric transport media, Cary-Blair media) should be sent to the NPHL for isolation of the shigatoxin positive E. coli for DNA fingerprinting (PFGE) and if not already determined, for serotyping (send as a Category B specimen). Order as E. coli (Hemorrhagic) Culture, Stool, HECCU.

Routine stool cultures are not recommended from patients hospitalized for greater than 3 days, unless the patient is known to be HIV positive or the request has been approved by the Microbiology Medical Director. 
  Revised: 2/2/2012 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.