Community-Onset Diarrhea


Stool culture for routine bacterial pathogens at PHC, should be limited to patients with at least one of the following (2,3):

  • temperature above 38.5°C

  • bloody diarrhea

  • age > 64

  • hypovolemia

  • duration of symptoms > 1 week

  • immunocompromised

  • severe abdominal pain

  • above 5 unformed stools per 24 hours

  • Salmonella

  • Shigella

  • Campylobacter

  • E.coli O157:H7

  • Yersinia

  • Aeromonas

  • Vibrio

  • Plesiomonas

If suspecting Vibrio cholerae, contact the Medical Microbiology laboratory.

Stool for C.difficile PCR if recent antibiotic exposure or chemotherapy

If patient has bloody diarrhea, indicate this on the requisition so that Shiga toxin testing can be performed

If syndrome is compatible with viral gastroenteritis, no testing is required