Would you like to know what lab results mean? Medical Tests Analyzer Software will explain and clarify your lab test report.

Stool (feces) is an important body substance to check for the presence of disorder-causing microorganisms, particularly parasites and bacteria. For the most part, laboratories use microbiology tests - similar to microbiological blood tests -- to determine if disorder-causing microorganisms are present.

Three main types of microbiological tests are commonly performed on feces:
·Antibody-antigen type tests, that look for a specific virus  
·Microscopic examination for intestinal parasites and their eggs (ova)  
·Routine culture.  
Routine culture involves streaking the sample onto agar plates containing special additives, such as MacConkey's Agar, which will inhibit the growth of Gram-positive organisms and will selectively allow enteric pathogens to grow. These pathogens are incubated for a period, and the bacterial colonies observed.

The main pathogens that are commonly looked for in feces include:
·Salmonella and Shigella  
·Candida (if the patient is immunosuppressed e.g. AIDS or cancer treatment)  
·E. coli O157 (if blood is visible in the stool sample.)  

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.