E. coli O157 and Non-O157 Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC) – Enteric Culture
Note to Submitters
Enteric culture is performed at the request of public health units for case management and outbreak investigations. Specimens are accepted only from health units.
If you are a clinician, please use a community laboratory to perform your testing. If you suspect an outbreak contact your local Health Unit.
Screening for non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) is performed by qPCR. The Public Health Ontario laboratory will test for non-O157 STEC on request from a patient who
- presents with acute bloody diarrhea or has hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) AND
- is negative for other enteric pathogens including E. coli O157
|Test Requested||Required Requisition(s)||Specimen Type||Minimum Volume||Collection Kit|
E. coli O157 culture1
Available in either PHO Cary Blair Kit – Kit Order #390049 or Enteric Bacteriology kit #390036
Submission and Collection Notes
Enter the name of the organism if you are suspecting a specific organism, e.g. E. coli O157 or non-O157 shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC)
Collect a minimum of 2. 0 ml of liquid faeces or add faeces up to the fill line indicated. DO NOT overfill.
The stool specimen must be received in the laboratory and processed within 5 days of collection. Specimens received after 5 days of collection will not be tested. Only one sample per patient is tested per collection date.
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.
Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHO laboratory on ice packs.
Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)
E. coli O157 enteric culture testing 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 6 days from receipt at PHO laboratory.
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) by qPCR are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act.
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).