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Microbiological stool investigations

For bacteriological stool investigations and for the detection of coproantigens (eg, in amebiasis, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis), please send in only unfixed stool specimen that are as fresh as possible. We recommend either to refer the patient directly to our department (OPD) or to send in samples via rapid courier services (the interval between sampling of stool specimen and lab investigations should not exeed 48 hours, for some pathogens such as shigella the culturability already decreases within few hours).

For parasitological stool investigations, please send in a sufficient amount of stool (samples should have at least  the size of a walnut). Samples send in by mail are suitable for the detection of helminth eggs and larvae, cysts of ameba, flagellates, cryptosporidia, or microsporidia. Trophozoites of ameba and giardia can be found only in fresh samples or in samples fixed appropriately. We recommend either to refer the patient directly to our department (OPD) or to send in samples that have been fixed rapidly after collection using appropriate fixatives (eg, SAF or MIF). We can provide collection tubes containing SAF (sodium acetate formaline) fixative. Please, always send in also an unfixed stool sample in addition to a sample in SAF fixative.