E. coli O157 and non-O157 Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC) – Confirmation and Speciation

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

E. coli O157 identification

Pure viable subculture of organism on media that supports the growth1

None

Pure bacteria in appropriate agar plate, tube or swab for identification and speciation.

non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC)

Pure viable subculture of organism on media that supports the growth1

None

Pure bacteria in appropriate agar plate, tube or swab for identification and speciation.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

E. coli O157 confirmation and speciation is performed Monday to Friday. 

Screening for non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) by qPCR is performed twice a week.

Turnaround time is up to 10 days from receipt at PHO Laboratory.

Reporting

Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for E. coli O157 and non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

Specimens are tested by conventional bacterial culture. 
Bacterial identification includes biotyping and serotyping procedures.

Screening for non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) is performed by qPCR.

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is not performed on E. coli O157 and non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC).

 

Additional Information

Bacterial identification, confirmation and serotyping tests are available for both E.coli O157:H7 and non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli.

For outbreaks, contact your local Health Unit, your local Public Health Laboratory or the Public Health Ontario, Public Health Laboratory Customer Service at 416-235-6555 or 1-877-604-4567.



contact lab

Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

customerservicecentre@oahpp.ca

Updated 21 Dec 2018