What is the role of stool cultures in the diagnosis of bacterial gastroenteritis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Jennifer Lynn Bonheur, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Stool cultures are useful when positive, but the yield is usually low. Refrigerate stool that is not cultured at 4°C within 2 hours of collection, or place it in a transport medium. Always culture stool for Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella species, especially if stool leukocytes or gross blood is found in the stool.


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